Archive for Sunday, December 4, 2005

Country’s first bird flu outbreak announced

December 4, 2005

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— Ukraine recorded its first bird flu outbreak Saturday, prompting the president to declare a state of emergency in four Crimean villages where more than 1,600 chickens and geese have died of the disease.

Dead birds found dead over the past two months in the Black Sea peninsula tested positive for the H5 subtype, officials said. Bird flu had already been detected in neighboring Romania nearly two months ago, and Ukrainian officials scrambled to reassure this nation of 47 million that they were well-prepared.

Ukrainians, meanwhile, began debating whether to stop buying poultry - the only meat many in this poor nation can afford.

Samples were sent to laboratories in Italy and Britain for further tests to determine whether the disease could be the deadly H5N1 strain, which is being monitored for fear it could mutate into a form that is easily transferable among humans. The results are expected by Thursday, officials said.

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