Bird flu kills 600 fowl in Kazakhstan, feared human case not confirmed
A bird flu outbreak has killed 600 geese in northern Kazakhstan, but a man feared to have contracted the disease was diagnosed with pneumonia, officials said Wednesday, reported AP.
Igor Filonov, the Pavlodar region's deputy emergencies chief, said the virus was found in the fowl that died in the village of Golubovka between July 20 and July 30.
He said the virus found in Kazakhstan was not the H5N1 strain, which has hit several nearby regions in Russia, and was not dangerous for humans.
A 19-year-old man who was hospitalized July 27 and feared to have bird flu was sick with an acute form of pneumonia which he had contracted before the bird flu outbreak, Filonov said.
Filonov said authorities had culled 2,350 geese and ducks in the affected village and treated the area with chemicals. He said inspectors found that fowl at other farms in the area were healthy.
The virus is believed to have been brought in from outside the country, possibly by migratory birds, he said.
Filonov also said regional authorities were planning to ban bird hunting during the coming hunting season and that all vehicles crossing into Kazakhstan from Russia were being checked and disinfected at the border.
Russia's first recorded bird flu outbreak has killed more than 2,700 birds in the Novosibirsk region and a handful of others that border Kazakhstan. Authorities believe the virus was brought to the country by migratory birds that fly north from Southeast Asia in the spring.
The virus has swept through poultry populations in large areas of Asia since 2003, killing tens of millions of birds and at least 60 people, most of them in Vietnam and Thailand.