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H5N1 Wild Bird Flu Spread to Sverlovsk Russia?

Recombinomics Commentary

August 17, 2005

Separately, Interfax news agency reported that health officials were looking into mass deaths of ducks near a reservoir in the Sverdlovsk region which borders a number of Urals regions hit by the virus.

The above report suggest H5N1 wild bird flu may be forming a northern route targeting northern and western Europe.  The leading edge of he route along the southern border of Siberia and northern border of Kazakhstan has begun to turn south, with new reports near the Urals in Chelyabinsk, Russia and Talapker, North Kazakhstan.  H5N1 in Sverdlovsk would point toward a more northern route.

The southern route to the Caspian Sea is supported by unconfirmed reports in Kalmykia and the Volga Delta.  Migration to these areas is expected, but the unconfirmed results would indicate the advance is more rapid than anticipated.

Similarly, one media report indicates bird flu has been confirmed in Kursk.  If accurate, the movement of H5N1 into northern and western Europe would be virtually certain.

The confirmed reports clearly show a rapid migration to the west (see map) ahead of the time when most birds migrate out of Siberia.  These confirmations anticipate a major increase of H5N1 into areas where it had not been reported previously.

The unconfirmed reports indicate the coverage of Europe will be extensive, increasing the likelihood of efficient human-to-human transmission.  Although countries in Europe have been developing a pandemic vaccine, it is directed against a Vietnamese strain from 2004 and will not likely be effective against the wild bird flu strain rapidly spreading through Europe and Asia.


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