Sunday, February 18, 2007

Tick, Tick, Tick – Soviet Poultry Plants Under Siege

A Russian veterinary surgeon inspects ostriches in a stable at a commercial farm in Toropovo in March 2006. Russian officials have announced measures to prevent the spread of bird flu, a day after the discovery of the deadly H5N1 strain at two farms near Moscow. Image Credit: AFP

Tick, Tick, Tick – Soviet Poultry Plants Under Siege

One might assume that if the ground is covered in snow and the temperatures are cold, viruses do not “take flight”.

In Russia, many forces may be at hand, including the hand of organized forces that would want to tip business their way … by eliminating the competition.

This virus outbreak cause may actually be in the form of an intentional HIT.

Excerpts from France 24 -

Russia moves to stop spread of deadly bird flu strain
by Victoria LOGUINOVA – France 24

Russian officials have announced measures to prevent the spread of bird flu, a day after the discovery of the deadly H5N1 strain at two farms near Moscow.

Confirmation of the strain, which is potentially fatal to humans who come into contact with infected birds, came on Saturday evening at Odintsovo and Domodedovo. Both are within a 50-kilometre (31-mile) radius of the capital.
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"We are taking all necessary measures," said Nikolai Vlasov, director of veterinary inspection for agricultural agency Rosselkhoznadzor.

"The farms have been disinfected. The experts are treating vehicles that are leaving the areas where the virus was discovered," said Vlasov, adding that access in and around the region had been restricted.

Last month, the H5N1 virus was recorded in poultry plants in the Krasnodar region, 1,000 kilometres south of Moscow, but the current outbreak is the first near the capital, home to more than 10 million people.

The Russian find follows recent outbreaks in Britain and Turkey, while Hungary reported the first detected case of the strain in January, the first such outbreak in the European Union since mid-2006.
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Russian authorities on Saturday said another farm at Podolsk, 40 kilometres south of the capital, was suspected of being contaminated after 44 dead birds were found, but tests had still to confirm this.

And on Sunday a fourth farm at Taldom, 110 kilometres north of Moscow, was under suspicion of housing a further outbreak, with authorities still conducting tests.

The birds belonging to the first three farms had been bought at Moscow's main poultry market on the southeast fringe of the city, which has since been closed.

A senior veterinary official in the region speculated that the birds may have been infected deliberately, a state news agency said Sunday.

"It is possible they had been contaminated at the market. We cannot rule out the possibility of bioterrorism," Ria Novosti cited Valeri Sitnikov as saying on an independent TV channel.

Vlasov, the director of veterinary inspection, dismissed the comments as paranoid, but an inquiry is underway at the poultry market and the relevant section of the market has been closed.

The H5N1 strain, which first emerged in Asia, has caused 270 reported human infections worldwide since 2003 and killed 164 as of last month.

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