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Russia Suspects Bird Flu in New Poultry Deaths Near Moscow


Russia is testing more dead poultry found near Moscow, after confirming the presence of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu in dead birds found in five districts near the capital last week.

Veterinary officials said Tuesday they suspect bird flu in the deaths of 75 hens on a farm east of Moscow in the town of Ramenskoye since Saturday. Tests are under way to determine if the poultry died from the H5N1 strain, which has killed more than 160 people worldwide since 2003.

Authorities say nearly 200 domestic birds have died in and near Moscow in the past ten days. Agriculture officials say all the cases have been traced to a single poultry market just outside the capital.

Veterinary and health officials insist that quarantines and sanitary measures have contained the spread of the virus.

Russian prosecutors are reported to be investigating if violations of veterinary regulations could have led to the bird flu outbreak.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.