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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Region Moves to Contain Bird Flu

Novosibirsk Governor Viktor Tolokonsky met with local officials Monday to discuss measures for containing an outbreak of the avian flu strain that can infect humans.

The outbreak began in Novosibirsk region in early July, killing thousands of domestic fowl. The country's veterinary service last week identified the virus as the H5N1 strain, which can fatally infect humans. No human cases have been reported in Russia.

Tolokonsky said Monday that the local administration had earmarked 9 million rubles ($315,000) to conduct quarantine measures in 18 towns and villages intended to stem the outbreak of the avian flu.

"The quarantine entails killing all poultry in the regions where the outbreak was recorded," Tolokonsky said, Itar-Tass reported.

The veterinary service said the avian flu outbreak had been recorded in 13 settlements of Novosibirsk region and one village in Altai region. "Necessary measures are being taken to contain the infection's source," it said in a statement.

The Emergency Situations Ministry said the outbreak already had killed 2,382 domestic fowl, including 127 since Sunday morning.

New outbreaks had been registered in Omsk region, where 450 fowl had been killed, and Altai region, where 300 died, but the strain there had not been determined yet, the ministry said.

Channel One television reported that workers of poultry farms were ordered to wear protective clothes and undergo disinfection procedures.

Valery Mikheyev, the chief sanitary doctor for Novosibirsk region, said that medical experts conduct regular checks on residents of the affected villages.

The veterinary service said that the virus apparently had been brought by birds migrating from Southeast Asia. The virus has swept through poultry populations in large areas of Asia since 2003, killing tens of millions of birds and at least 60 people, most of them in Vietnam and Thailand.

Almost all the human fatalities had contracted the virus from poultry. But experts worry it could mutate into a more deadly virus that could spread from person to person.