KIEV, Dec. 9 (Xinhuanet) -- Fears have been expressed that the outbreak of
bird flu on the Ukraine's Crimea peninsula could have spread to other parts of
"As of December 8, we had detected the deaths of poultry on new territories
in Crimea," said a statement issued on Friday by the Health Ministry.
"As of December 9 the bird flu was confirmed by laboratory tests in nine
villages. Dead poultry were detected in 17 villages," it added.
The disease appeared to be spreading north and south along the coastline, said
the statement, adding that the main carriers of the disease are wild birds living
in marshland on the Crimean east coast.
The new suspected cases were found in two villages near the Black Sea port
of Theodossia in the south, in another village in the north of the peninsula and
in Simferopol, the capital of the autonomous republic, according to the
Further tests were required to confirm it was bird flu and establish the
exact strain, said the statement.
In addition, information from Moscow confirmed on Friday that the bird flu
virus detected last weekend in several villages in north-eastern Crimea is the
"This is so-called Asian strain H5N1 that poses a potential threat to man,"
Russian chief agriculture inspector Sergei Dankvert told Itar-Tass, referring to
the virus found in the Ukraine and sent to the All-Russia Research Institute of
Animal Protection for testing.
The disease has spread rapidly across the Crimea peninsula since last
weekend, when around 2,500 birds died in a matter of hours in five villages in
Earlier this week, President Viktor Yushchenko announced a state of
emergency in the affected areas and the country's Emergency Situations Ministry
seized about 28,000 birds in villages in a sealed-off exclusion zone.
No human case of bird flu was reported in the Ukraine so far, and the country
is vaccinating the population in the affected are against regular flu to
boost their immunity. Enditem