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UPDATE: Farms shut in Russia's capital

On Sunday it was confirmed that at least six farms within nearly 50 kilometres of Moscow, capital city, were found to have the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, which is suspected to be linked to the main live poultry market Sadovod, nicknamed the Bird Market.

Farms and markets in the suburbs of Russia's capital were shut down as it is believed that the virus is moving westward along migratory bird routes, as it did last winter.
Over 5,000 residents will be monitored for any signs of illness, including 20 people who were in direct contact with infected animals. Officials announced plans to vaccinate one million birds.
The public were told not to panic as poultry remain indoors during the winter season in Moscow. However, in January, three H5N1 outbreaks were found in Krasnodar on the edge of the Black Sea. Since December, neighbouring areas near the Black Sea have reported the virus in domestic and wild birds in, including Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia, where migrating birds brought the flu in the winter of 2005/06.
Although it is too early to be certain, the pattern of the Moscow outbreak makes it likely that it was caused by poultry trucked north, not by migrating birds.
Consequently, the Ukraine State department of veterinary medicine has temporarily imposed a ban on poultry import from the Moscow region.
According to the State department of veterinary medicine, import of other goods from this territory should be carried out in accordance with veterinary import demands.
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