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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Avian Flu Virus Reaches Another Siberian Region

ReutersA man taking a wild duck to be tested for bird flu in the Krasnoyarsk region.
The bird flu virus, which has swept six Russian regions, has been found in a wild duck in another Siberian province, officials said on Wednesday, but Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev said that its spread had been curbed.

The government of the Altai republic said samples taken from the bird shot on Aug. 13 indicated the presence of bird flu virus "of the fifth type."

Its statement did not say whether the strain was of the H5N1 subtype, which is potentially lethal to humans and has killed at least 50 people in Asia since 2003.

The mountainous Altai republic borders Kazakhstan, Mongolia and the Altai region, one of six Russian regions where the bird flu virus had been officially confirmed so far.

Officials said the local veterinary service would inspect all farms close to where the duck was shot and restrict contact between wild and domestic fowl.

Gordeyev was quoted by Interfax as saying on Wednesday that the spread of bird flu had been curbed.

"Knock on wood, we see that the situation is getting calmer, the disease has been localized," Gordeyev said, Interfax reported.

He said that bird flu had been restricted to small private farms and had not affected big industrial bird farms, which were taking precautions against the virus.

Russia has culled 129,756 birds to prevent the spread of the virus since July 21. Another 11,725 birds died of the virus, including 10 in the last 24 hours, the Emergency Situations Ministry said in a report on Wednesday.

No case of human infection with the H5N1 virus has been discovered in Russia so far.

The Federal Consumer Protection Service said it had lifted quarantines from 12 locations in five regions, including one in the Caspian province of Kalmykia, where a reported case of bird flu was not confirmed.

Kazakhstan's Agriculture Ministry said on Tuesday that a bird flu outbreak in seven northern villages had been confirmed to be dangerous to humans and the west of the sprawling country was under threat from the disease.