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Official Says Russian Bird Flu No Threat To Humans

26 July 2005 (RFE/RL) -- A leading Russian epidemiologist says initial tests indicate the country's first recorded outbreak of bird flu is of a strain that does not infect humans.

Gennadii Onishchenko told a news conference today scientists have identified the strain as H5N2, which he says is not known to affect humans. The outbreak has killed more than 1,000 birds in the Novosibirsk region this month.

Onishchenko says officials believe migratory birds brought the virus into Siberia. He says no domesticated fowl had died in the past two days, an indication the outbreak may be waning.

Since 2003, bird flu has killed at least 57 people in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and Indonesia and devastated poultry stocks in the region.


See also:

More Cases Of Bird Flu In Siberia