A ministry spokesman said the highly infectious Newcastle Disease was suspected of causing the mass death of poultry at a farm that has already seen many birds die in the Krasnodar Territory. Final laboratory tests will be available Monday.
Newcastle Disease is one of the most infectious viruses to affect poultry in the world. The disease is so virulent that many birds die without showing any clinical signs. A death rate of almost 100% can occur in unvaccinated poultry flocks. It can infect and cause death even in vaccinated poultry.
Earlier, about 200,000 fowl out of 300,000 died at the farm in a bird flu outbreak.
'The main point is that no human cases have been reported," the spokesman said. "All those who were dealing with birds and were taken ill with flu have been tested for the [deadly] H5N1 virus."
The Agriculture Ministry said that cases of bird flu had been registered in seven regions in the Southern Federal District, a major stopover area for migrating birds. Areas hit included the republics of Kabardino-Balkaria, Daghestan, Chechnya, Kalmykia and Adygea, and the Krasnodar and Stavropol territories.
The authorities in the Krasnodar Territory have received 2.7 million bird flu vaccines and intend to start vaccinations Monday in 27 districts.