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Bird Flu May Have Spread To Fifth Kazakh Village

12 August 2005 -- Kazakhstan says veterinary officials are investigating dead poultry from a fifth village where a strain of avian influenza may have spread.

Asylbek Kazhmuratov of the Agriculture Ministry told reporters that bird flu is suspected to be the cause for the death of 23 birds in the village of Dubrovnoye in the North Kazakhstan region.

A senior veterinary official said yesterday that the strain H5N1 had been found in four villages in the Akmolinsk and central Karaganda regions. Russia has also reported a bird flu outbreak.

The H5N1 strain has killed more than 50 people in Asia since August 2003. Although no humans have yet been affected in Kazakhstan or Russia, there are fears the disease might now spread to humans in Eurasia.