January 18, 2008 / 9:00 AM / 12 years ago

Ukraine finds H5N1 bird flu in Crimea

KIEV (Reuters) - A new outbreak of the strain of bird flu that is deadly to humans has struck Ukraine after being kept under control for two years, veterinarians said on Friday.

Ukraine’s Veterinary Inspectorate said the outbreak was detected this week in the village of Rovnoye in the Crimean peninsula, the same region hit in late 2005.

A total of 153 birds died suddenly at a private firm where more than 25,000 poultry were kept.

“Yesterday, tests were concluded and DNA of the H5N1 virus was found,” a veterinary inspectorate spokesman, Anatoly Osadchi, told Reuters.

“The village has been sealed off, guards have been posted at entry points and a quarantine is in place. All the birds are being incinerated.”

The inspectorate said the first six deaths were noted on Tuesday, followed by dozens more over the next two days.

The first outbreak of bird flu was detected in Ukraine in late 2005, in northern Crimea — a major stopping point on migratory bird routes. About 30 villages were affected at that time and tens of thousands of birds were destroyed.

Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; editing by Chris Johnson

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