posted by admin on 20/02/07
An avian flu outbreak was recorded in two areas in Moscow Region on Sunday.
Earlier last week, the H5N1 strain was found in three other locations. Officials do not rule out the possibility of bioterrorism.
The four cases of dead poultry involved birds that had been bought at a single market. A resident of the village of Shikhovo, near Zvenigorod, bought a bird at the Ptichiy Market in Moscow, and a few days later seven chickens died at his farm. A resident of the village of Babenki lost 44 chickens after buying one at the Prichiy Market.
Moscow chief veterinary inspector Nikolay Filatov was unable to explain Sunday how the deadly poultry happened to be on sale at the Ptichiy Market, saying that the poultry is being delivered from other regions. The Ptichiy Market would not any comment before the results of the identification of the virus are released.
The deadly poultry is most likely to have been brought to the market from one of 15 private farms in Moscow Region, chief of the Russian Consumer Protection Service Gennady Onishchenko told Kommersant.
There are currently more than 30 poultry farms outside Moscow. Experts say, though, that bird flu is not very likely to go on to penetrate to major poultry farms.
Moscow regional officials say the birds could have been infected on purpose. “I cannot exclude the possibility of bioterrorism,” Valery Sitnikov, chief veterinary inspection for the region, said.