Iowa Public Television


Russia Battles Spread of Bird Flu

posted on August 19, 2005

Russian veterinary workers clad in long white robes and masks incinerated thousands of slaughtered fowl this week in an attempt to prevent a bird flu epidemic blamed on wild ducks from spreading further west toward Europe.

But as officials said they were doing everything they could to control the disease and prevent it from spreading across the Ural Mountains, an expert blamed Russia's growing problem on a failure to keep domestic fowl isolated from wild birds.

More than 13,000 birds have died from the H5N1 strain of the bird flu, which can fatally infect humans, and more than 112,000 have been slaughtered to prevent the disease from spreading, the Emergency Situations Ministry said on its Website.

The epidemic, first registered in western Siberia in July, has been blamed on two kinds of wild duck -- mallard and pochard -- migrating from Southeast Asia, a ministry spokesman said.

Tags: animals birds diseases influenza news Russia