Kazakhstan says bird flu outbreak came from Russia, no danger to humans

ALMATY (Reuters) - The bird flu outbreak registered in northern Kazakhstan has been caused by the same H5N8 virus strain as that recorded in Russia which presents no immediate danger to humans, Kazakh officials said on Monday.

Kazakhstan has reported several outbreaks of highly pathogenic bird flu in backyards and villages near the Russian border, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said last week.

Deputy agriculture minister Gulmira Isayeva told a briefing on Monday that the virus, which was most likely brought to the Central Asian nation by wildfowl from across the border, was confirmed to be the H5N8 strain.

She said Kazakhstan has nevertheless quarantined the affected areas in several provinces and will carry out mass vaccination of poultry and compensate farmers who have reported tens of thousands of domestic fowl deaths.

Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Catherine Evans