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H5N1 Wild Bird Flu Confirmed in Talapker Kazakhstan

Recombinomics Commentary

August 17, 2005

Kazakhstan's Emergencies Ministry confirmed on Wednesday that the deaths of more than a 120 birds in a northern village were due to avian influenza, the sixth place in the country where a bird flu outbreak has spread.

The deaths of 122 birds in Talapker, a village in the North Kazakhstan region, came despite quarantines and culls in place in the five other villages where bird flu has been detected.

The deaths were first reported on Tuesday. The Emergencies Ministry said a further 678 poultry had been culled in Talapker.

Experts say they fear the virus may spread further as migratory birds head south for the winter to the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

The above confirmation of the outbreak in Talapker extends the migration of H5N1 across southern Siberia and northern Kazakhstan.  The outbreak in Talapker bends the migration path to the south, toward the Caspian Sea. There have been unconfirmed reports of dead birds at the Volga Delta as well as the Russian Republic of Kalmykia, which is adjacent to the Volga Delta.  Although some reports suggest the Kalmykia deaths are due to parasitic worms, the reports of Volga Delta deaths suggest H5N1 may have already migrated into the Caspian Sea region.

There are also unconfirmed reports of dead birds in the Sverdlovsk region.  If confirmed, this could represent a bifurcation of the western path, with one route turning south toward the Caspian Sea with another route continuing west across the Urals and into western Europe.

The early reports will help predict how extensive the H5N1 spread will be in Europe this fall.


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