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Russia fights bird flu infection
www.chinaview.cn 2005-08-23 23:58:43

    MOSCOW, Aug. 23 (Xinhuanet) -- A number of Russian regions are taking measures against the spreading of bird flu, the ITAR-TASS news agency said on Tuesday.

    The bird flu, first discovered in Russia's Tyumen region in late July, has affected 45 districts in seven Russian regions, including the Chelyabinsk, Novosibirsk, Tyumen, Kurgan and Omsk regions, the Altai territory and one Kalmyk hunting ground.

    The Irkutsk province began to inoculate about 3,000 staff of the local poultry farms. The regional sanitary anti-epidemic commission requires the mandatory vaccination of all poultry farmspersonnel before Sept 1.

    Meantime, the epidemic in the Altai territory seemed to be under control as no new infection outbreaks have been registered.

    "The products of Altai poultry factories are absolutely safe," Vladimir Popov, deputy head of territorial administration, was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

    Beef prices shot up when the bird flu outbreaks were reported, while poultry meat was rendered unmarketable, with 180 tons of foul amassed at poultry factory storehouses.

    But Popov emphasized the sales have returned to normal levels as consumers recovered from their fear of the epidemic.

    "In general, the situation in the territory is under control, there is no threat of bird flu's spreading," he said.

    Bird flu cases in Kurgan and Chelyabinsk regions have stabilized, the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry confirmed onTuesday. No birds have died or have been culled in the two regionsin the past two days.

    Meanwhile, in the Tyumen region the infection has killed 42 birds, and another 81 poultry have been culled, a spokesman for the Ministry's Volga-Ural center told Itar-Tass.

    The center disclosed that the infection has killed 1,955 poultry at private farms in the Chelyabinsk region, 5,489 birds inthe Kurgan region, and 23,488 in the Tyumen region since the outbreak began. No bird flu cases among humans have been registered.

    Epidemiologists in Tyumen are preparing to launch a vaccinationcampaign against the flu for the local population.

    Regional budget allocations for the purpose amount to 30 million rubles (more than one million US dollars), reports said. Enditem


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