First Bird Flu Occurrence in Continental Ukraine

Citing reports by Kanal 5, UNIAN reported that the disease was uncovered in only one isolated village, called Pisky, situated in the Sumy oblast, which is east of the capital city of Kyiv and borders with Russia.

Ihor Krol, press spokesman for the ministry, said medical teams have been sent to the region. Krol said the outbreak does not pose any immediate threat to humans while plans are under way to destroy 7,200 poultry. While the ministry did not confirm that the strain was the deadly H5N1, news reports said it was the highly-pathogenic version.

Earlier this year, Ukraine successful contained an outbreak in the Crimean peninsula, where ultimately between 150,000 and 200,000 fowl were destroyed. No human cases have been recorded in Ukraine.

The European Commission reported earlier this month that under its surveillance program cases of avian influenza found in wild birds have been falling. Wild birds have been known to spread the disease to domesticated poultry as they migrate.

The commission said at the time that the results provide a sign of hope for food processors, who have seen sales of poultry products plunge in some countries as avian influenza slowly crept into the block, brought by wild birds and in some cases infecting domesticated poultry stocks.

A total of 57 countries around the world have so far reported detecting the avian influenza strain, either in wild birds or domestic poultry. Bird flu has killed at least 128 people worldwide since it started ravaging Asian poultry farms in late 2003.


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