Ukrainian health officials said Tuesday they had confirmed another outbreak of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu in three poultry farms on Ukraine's southern Crimean peninsula. Oleg Rusetsky, the head of the regional agriculture department, said that health authorities had been monitoring the outbreak since the last week of December, but only on Monday did they receive confirmation that the virus is the H5N1 strain, which has killed people in Turkey and elsewhere in Asia. Rusetsky said that emergency workers had culled more than 172,000 birds and thoroughly disinfected the affected farms.
The virus has so far been identified in 14 Crimean villages and authorities have already destroyed more than 70,000 domestic fowl. No human cases have yet been recorded in Ukraine, reports the AP. I.L.