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    Guidelines to be issued for dealing with bird flu cases

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    MOSCOW, August 29 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Emergencies Ministry is to issue guidelines for citizens on how to deal with birds infected by the bird flu virus, the head of the ministry said Monday.

    Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoygu said, "Over the next two days, we need to develop precise and understandable instructions for people who go hunting."

    The guidelines will include a description of bird flu symptoms and procedures for dealing with infected birds. Copies of the guidelines will be sent to all domestic bird owners, Shoygu said.

    According to Emergencies Ministry data, more than 150,000 infected birds have been incinerated in Siberia and the Volga-Urals region.

    The deputy head of the Federal Consumer Rights Protection Service, Lyudmila Kulchenko, said there have not yet been any cases of bird flu being passed on to humans. "All tests have produced negative results, but we are still monitoring 81 villages where outbreaks of the virus have occurred among birds," she said.

    Senior veterinary official Yevgeni Nepoklonov said the continuing spread of the virus was a great cause for concern among veterinarians.

    The virus may continue to be pathogenic until winter, Nepoklonov said. "We are already taking measures to prevent a new outbreak of the disease in spring 2006, when seasonal bird migration takes place."

    During this year's autumn migration, the Emergencies Ministry predicts there will be an increased danger of bird flu reaching the western part of Russia, carried by birds flying from northern Siberia to the Caspian and Black seas.

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