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    Bird flu outbreak contained in southern Russia - ministry

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    Yury Vorobyov, speaking at a ministry conference in the mountain resort of Krasnaya Polyana near the Black Sea, said: "Over the past five to six days, there has not been a single new case of bird infection."

    KRASNAYA POLYANA (Krasnodar Territory), 28 March (RIA Novosti) - An outbreak of bird flu in southern Russia has now been localized, a deputy emergency situations minister said Tuesday.

    Yury Vorobyov, speaking at a ministry conference in the mountain resort of Krasnaya Polyana near the Black Sea, said: "Over the past five to six days, there has not been a single new case of bird infection."

    This has been achieved by controlling the work of poultry farms, as well as by imposing quarantine regulations and a vaccination campaign, the deputy minister said.

    "So far, in southern Russia alone, more than 8.5 million birds have been vaccinated," he said. "This is very important. It means that the spread of the disease has been prevented from assuming a new scale."

    However, the localization of the virus does not mean the problem has been completely solved, he said, adding that measures to control its spread would continue.

    The potentially lethal H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus returned to southern Russia in February, and the Krasnodar Territory was one of the worst affected regions. Officials have said over a million birds have been slaughtered in the area since last month's outbreak, but a massive vaccination campaign launched at local poultry farms in March has made it possible to prevent an epidemic.

    No human cases of bird flu have been diagnosed in Russia.

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