H5N1 Confirmed in Ukrainian Poultry

The agency reported that British and Russian laboratories verified the strain after analyzing samples that were collected in six infected Crimean regions.

The UNIAN reporter also said that more than 6,000 people have been vaccinated, among them more than 1,000 children. More than 35,000 birds have been destroyed. He also said there is no evidence that the virus has spread beyond the peninsula, located on the Black Sea.

However, Ukraine's Health Ministry said today it had detected new suspect cases of the avian influenza and that the disease was spreading to new areas of Crimea. The government first detected bird flu last weekend in several villages in northeastern Crimea, near a large lake used by migrating birds. The ministry said it suspected the bird flu had spread to central Crimea.

"As of Dec. 8, we have detected the deaths of poultry on new territories in Crimea. It shows the outbreak of the bird flu in the poultry is continuing," it said in a statement.

In an effort to calm local fears, government officials from Kyiv and Crimea as well as journalists participated in a photo opportunity, eating local domesticated poultry.


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