- Bird flu has spread west to a sixth region in Russia,
triggering the slaughter of hundreds more birds.
- The disease has reached the Chelyabinsk region of the
Ural mountains which separate Asia from Europe.
- The region is a major industrial centre, whereas the
other affected areas - Altai, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Tyumen and Kurgan - are
- It is not yet clear whether the latest cases were caused
by the strain which can be dangerous to humans.
- A quarantine has been imposed in several villages in
the Oktyabrsky district of Chelyabinsk - a rural district with hundreds
- The strain found in the Altai, Novosibirsk and Omsk regions
has been identified as H5N1 - the type that has killed at least 57 people
in South-East Asia since 2003.
- An outbreak of bird flu has also been reported in neighbouring
- 'No human cases'
- Russian doctors suspect that migratory birds brought
the virus to Siberia.
- The emergency situations ministry told RIA Novosti news
agency that 10,896 wild and domestic birds had died from the disease so
- But the ministry said there had been "no cases of
sickness among the human population".
- There are fears of a global pandemic stemming from the
H5N1 type, if it mutates into a form which could spread easily from human
- Most of those who have died in Asia are believed to have
contracted the virus directly from birds.
- © BBC MMV