Russian Bird Flu outbreaks increase

Russia has confirmed further outbreaks of the H5N1 strain of avian influenza (AI).

Dead poultry found in the suburbs surrounding Moscow has been traced back to a single market, according to a report by the Associated Press.

The market has now been closed after tests on 17 February confirmed the virus, which is the closest recorded outbreak to the capital.

So far, four separate incidents have been recorded. Nikolai Vlasov, a senior Russian veterinary official warned there may be more outbreaks.

"But there should be no panic because conditions in Russia, especially in the winter, mean that there is not even any theoretical possibility of human infection," said Vlasov on Russian television.

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