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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic; Now tracking the Aussie Flu.

Bird Flu Outbreak Moscow Act of Bio-terrorism ?

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    Posted: February 19 2007 at 6:56am

Bird flu outbreak near Moscow might be act of bio-terrorism - veterinary official

MOSCOW. Feb 18 (Interfax-Center) - Bio-terrorism must not be discarded as a cause of an outbreak of bird flu at Moscow's poultry market, but this should be tackled by the Federal Security Service and other law enforcement services," chief veterinary official of the Moscow region, Valery Sitnikov, told Interfax on Sunday.

The regional veterinary services have almost no doubts that the deadly illness came from Moscow's poultry market, Sitnikov said.

"The birds that contracted the disease on the poultry market could have infected other fowl. Bird flu symptoms appear two-three days following infection, which can be seen from what is happening. The first decorative hen was bought on February 9. It died on February 11. In the second case, several hens, bought on February 11, died on February 13," he said.

"The management of the poultry market for some reasons have failed to block the arrival of birds infected by the virus. I don't rule out bio-terrorism. The Federal Security Service and other law enforcement agencies must have their say," the official said. sd

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Russian news agencies also reported a fifth incident of birds dying in the southwestern Naro-Fominsk district, but Alexeyenko said it was too early to tell whether bird flu was to blame.

Officials said several people who were in close contact the dead poultry were taken in for medical observation, but no health problems had been reported

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Russia confirms five H5N1 bird flu outbreaks
19 Feb 2007 14:01:21 GMT
Source: Reuters
 
By Robin Paxton

MOSCOW, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Moscow's best-known pet market was in quarantine on Monday as health officials confirmed a strain of H5N1, potentially lethal to humans, was responsible for five bird flu outbreaks around the Russian capital.

Veterinary officials traced all five outbreaks, in separate villages around Moscow, to birds bought in the past two weeks at the capital's Sadovod market, commonly known as "Ptichka" ("Birdie"), where masked officials guarded empty stalls.

Laboratory tests confirmed that the H5N1 bird flu present in all five cases was highly pathogenic and potentially dangerous to humans, said Nikolai Vlasov, head of veterinary surveillance at Russia's animal and plant health watchdog, Rosselkhoznadzor.

"It is probably related to the Asian type of the virus," he told Reuters.

The outbreak is Russia's second this year and the first ever recorded close to the capital. The H5N1 strain killed poultry in three settlements in the southern region of Krasnodar last month.

No human cases of bird flu have been recorded in Russia.

The virus has killed 167 people worldwide since 2003, mostly in Asia and in cases where the victims had been in direct contact with infected birds. A total 273 cases have been recorded in humans.

Health experts fear the virus could mutate into a form that passes easily from human to human, sparking a pandemic that could kill millions. Five people have died from eight cases in neighbouring Azerbaijan.

MIGRATING BIRDS

Vlasov said the virus was probably brought to Moscow by migrating birds from the Caucasus or the Middle East.

"Preliminary data show the virus could have come from the region around Azerbaijan or Iran," the health official said.

Controls were in place limiting movement to and from the five villages where bird flu had been found since Friday, in the Taldom, Domodedovo, Podolsk, Naro-Fominsk and Odintsovo districts, and the Sadovod market would remain closed until further checks had been carried out, he said.

The Moscow Region prosecutor said in a statement that a criminal investigation was under way to determine whether veterinary regulations had been breached at the market, and confirmed that residents of the five affected villages had bought birds at the market since Feb. 5.

Tight controls were also in place at other poultry farms around Moscow, though the region's largest poultry producer has said these would not affect operations.

"We always have strict controls in place," Vadim Kamashev, deputy general director of Mosselprom, told Reuters on Saturday. "In principle, we hope strict measures will limit uncontrolled poultry breeding," he said.

The World Animal Health Organisation, which monitors the global bird flu situation, has so far this year received a report from Russia only on the bird flu outbreak in Krasnodar in January, data published on its Web site on Monday showed.

Russia recorded more than 90 bird flu cases in chickens and other birds last year, mostly in the North Caucasus region that borders Georgia and Azerbaijan, and in Siberia's Novosibirsk and Omsk regions. (Additional reporting by Maria Golovnina, Aleksandras Budrys)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 19 2007 at 7:15am
Baby girl, I wasnt to thank you for all that you are doing for this site. I really mean this. My mom is in the ICU in the hospital and it is refrehing to know that you try your best find out what is what for all of us. One less thing I need to do when I come home. This site is all I need. Tks again.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gnfin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 19 2007 at 7:37am
Yea thanks babygirl I appreciate it too..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 19 2007 at 7:55am
Thank you gnfin.
 
Satomick you're very welcome and my thoughts are with you and your Mom.

Having personally experienced a loved one in ICU it can be an emotionally draining and difficult experience.

Best to you and God bless you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 19 2007 at 8:16am
You are welcome. She is not doing very well and it is the tuff. When your mon cries it just cuts your heart out. I am leaving now to see her.Tks again
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Judy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 19 2007 at 8:20am
Thanks from me too, BabyGirl. I appreciate all your hard work.Thumbs Up
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From Dr. Nimans Website.


The presence of H5N1, confirmed by tests late Saturday, was the first such outbreak to be recorded so close to the Russian capital.
Four separate incidences of domestic poultry dying involved birds that were purchased at a market located just outside the Moscow city limits, federal agricultural oversight agency Rosselkhoznadzor spokesman Alexei Alexeyenko told The Associated Press.

The market was closed Saturday and experts were trying to determine the original source for the birds on sale there, he said.

On Saturday, Alexeyenko said tests had confirmed the H5N1 strain in poultry found dead in two districts where roughly two dozen birds had died -- Odintsovo and Domodedovo. Results of tests taken in a third district where nearly four dozen birds died -- Podolsk -- were still pending, he said.

The Moscow region's chief veterinarian, Olga Gavrilenko, told Ekho Moskvy radio on Sunday that dead domestic birds had been reported in the northern Taldom district.

Russian news agencies also reported a fifth incident of birds dying in the southwestern Naro-Fominsk district,

The above comments describe multiple outbreaks of H5N1 in suburbs ringing Moscow.  Many of the outbreaks are said to be linked to a local market, but the source of the infection in the market is unclear.

Recently, outbreaks of the Qinghai strain of H5N1 were reported along the northern shore of the Black Sea in Krasnodar and there has recently been a large die off of migratory birds in Krasnodar.

Last year Qinghai H5N1 was confirmed in Tula, just south of Moscow, but the current series of outbreaks have surrounded the city.

Recently, there have been additional outbreaks of H5N1 in Pakistan, Hungary, England, Egypt, Turkey, and Nigeria.  Last year, a large number of countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa reported H5N1 outbreaks fro the first time in February and March. 

Similar reports are expected this year as the H5N1 in wild birds in the region combine with winter conditions to produce deaths that are identified by a poor surveillance network in the region.

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From Dr. Nimans website.

Vlasov said the virus was probably brought to Moscow by migrating birds from the Caucasus or the Middle East.

"Preliminary data show the virus could have come from the region around Azerbaijan or Iran," the health official said.

Controls were in place limiting movement to and from the five villages where bird flu had been found since Friday, in the Taldom, Domodedovo, Podolsk, Naro-Fominsk and Odintsovo districts, and the Sadovod market would remain closed until further checks had been carried out, he said.

The above comments provide more detail on the H5N1 outbreaks in the suburbs of Moscow. The preliminary data indicate the H5N1 is the Qinghai strain with regional markers seen in Azerbaijan and Iran last season.

Qinghai H5N1 was isolated in both countries in February, 2006.  Although all of the H5N1 in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa was the Qinghai strain, the sequences indicated there were multiple introductions from wild birds and the H5N1’s had regional polymorphisms.  In many cases these were shared with local low path avian influenza, providing additional data for H5N1 evolution via recombination.

NAMRU-3 has released a number of H5N1 sequences this season.  Analysis of the human and bird sequences by ******** demonstrates acquisition of new polymorphisms via recombination.  Although the isolates from this season retain most of the regional markers from last season, new polymorphisms are added onto the genetic backgroiund from last season.  In Egypt, HA M230I is an example of a “new” polymorphism from two sets of donor sequences, which are fixing M230I in Egypt.

The comments above indicate that the H5N1 in Moscow is following a similar mechanism of evolution by retaining regional polymorphisms from last season, and adding additional markers from this season.

Comments on the H5N1 sequences from two outbreaks in Hungary indocate a similar mechanism of evolution is being seen there, resulting in 2007 H5N1 in Hungary maintaining 99.4% identity with Qinghai isolates in Europe in 2006.

The evolution via recombination allows for tracing of isolates and flight paths of migrating birds carrying new polymorphisms which generate predictions of emerging genotypes based on recombination with dominant genotypes in the region.

The linkage of H5N1 in Moscow to H5N1 in Azerbaijan is cause for concern.  In 2006 there were large clusters in Azerbaijan with ties to wild bird de-feathering.  H5N1 from patients also had changes in the receptor binding domain such as N186K in Azerbaijan.  Recent sequences from Egypt have additional receptor binding domain changes (V223I, S227N, M230I) as well as Tamiflu resistance (N294S), which could create more efficient transmission of a Qinghai H5N1 with Tamiflu resistance markers.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 19 2007 at 2:44pm
 
 
The World Animal Health Organisation, which monitors the global bird flu situation, has so far this year received a report from Russia only on the bird flu outbreak in Krasnodar in January, data published on its Web site on Monday showed.

Russia recorded more than 90 bird flu cases in chickens and other birds last year, mostly in the North Caucasus region that borders Georgia and Azerbaijan, and in Siberia's Novosibirsk and Omsk regions. (Additional reporting by Maria Golovnina, Aleksandras Budrys)
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The Cossack City on the Kuban - Krasnodar

Krasnodar: St. George's Church

St. George's Church

Krasnodar, the capital of the Kuban region, is the most southerly district capital of Russia. This metropolis on the banks of the River Kuban, whose waters flow into the Sea of Azov, today has over 765,000 inhabitants, citizens with nationalities ranging from Russian, Ukrainian, Armenian to Greek and German. All around this city lying between Caucasus and the Black Sea stretches an extremely fertile region of agricultural land: an area which is able to profit as much from the rich soil as it can from the mild climate which prevails. And, thus, around Krasnodar is where the most northerly tea-producing area of the world can be found. Cereals, sunflowers, fruit and rice are all exported to 69 countries.

Krasnodar stands at a central crossroads. In addition to the important main roads whose paths meet there, the city is served by two major railway stations and an international airport. During the era of the former Soviet Union, the city was systematically developed into an industrial centre; today industry in Krasnodar concentrates on refineries as well as on large firms specialising in the manufacture of tools and agricultural equipment. However, industry and farming are not the only facets of the city on the River Kuban - Krasnodar is patron to both the arts and sciences. Since 1920 the city has been the home of the Kuban University with its twelve faculties. Moreover, five other higher education establishments are located there and also a whole range of institutions working on scientific research, particularly in the realms of agricultural production and foodstuff technologies. And art and cultural events find many avenues of expression in the city's theatres, libraries and museums.

Krasnodar: Residences in Uliza Krasnaya

Residences in Uliza Krasnaya
Krasnodar: Home of the Philharmonic

Home of the Philharmonic

Krasnodar and the City of the Fan have two very striking things in common: just like Karlsruhe, Krasnodar lies directly on a geographical line of latitude, i.e. on the degree of 45, making its position four degrees more southerly than that of the former capital of the state of Baden. And also like Karlsruhe, Krasnodar is a city whose founding is relatively recent. Over two hundred years ago, in 1793, the Russian Tsarina, Katharina II, granted the Cossacks of the Black Sea forested land on the right bank of the River Kuban, as a reward for their services to the throne. In honour of the benefactress, the future city was to receive the name "Jekaterinodar" - Katharina's Gift. The area around the Kuban at the foot of the snow-capped Caucasus not far from the Black Sea is known as "the pearl of Russia." And it was not only Cossacks that the Tsarina sent to these fertile fields along the river. German farmers arrived and began to cultivate the lands of plenty on the Kuban. Around 30,000 Germans still live in the area today, too. In 1867 Jekaterinodar was given the status of "a civic town." At the beginning of the 20th century there were already trams serving the municipality. And an electricity plant, telephone network and cinemas were all to be found in the growing town. The wonderful parks and cathedrals quickly made the town famous and the buildings in the main streets were easily able to compete in style and splendour with those in the Russian capital. Municipal affairs and all administration were in the hands of the town parliament, the Duma. But the October Revolution reached the banks of the Kuban, too. Governments came and went. In the midst of all the upheavals, a new name was decreed for the town: and since 1920 the town has been known as Krasnodar (from the Russian "krasnyi" meaning red). During the Second World War, the town was occupied by German troops and later on suffered large-scale destruction as the war took its toll. Consequently Krasnodar's skyline is today predominantly outlined by modern architecture: a young metropolitan centre of parks and greenery, open and spacious. The Mediterranean climate and the centre's wide avenues remind visitors more of a holiday resort somewhere in the south rather than of a city previously shaped and influenced by a socialist regime.

The year of 1979 saw the beginning of contacts between Karlsruhe and Krasnodar when discussions took place regarding an exchange for a youth group. In 1992 an official treaty of friendship was drawn up between the two cities and since December 1997 they have been twinned. From that point onwards countless activities and visits have taken place both in Karlsruhe and Krasnodar, bringing life and vitality into the partnership. The promoting of cultural exchanges and personal contacts and friendships is surely interesting and important but, at the moment, emphasis is being placed on both the practical and idealistic support which is needed during this period of change and reorganisation. And the twinned-town movement of Karlsruhe - Krasnodar is clearly one of the driving forces when it comes to the offering of such support.

Krasnodar: The Grand Courtyard in the Tschaika porcelain factory

The Grand Courtyard in the Tschaika porcelain factory
Kuban Cossacks meeting at a city celebration

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    Seventh bird flu nidus detected in Moscow region



20.02.2007, 13.19



MOSCOW, February 20 (Itar-Tass) - The Moscow region reported the seventh bird flu nidus, following the death of 75 hens kept by a local resident of the town of Ramenskoye.

Veterinary authorities culled a total of 177 poultry kept at this household. Disinfection works at the scene are underway, an official at the regional agriculture ministry told Itar-Tass.

Deaths of birds have been reported in Domodedovo, Odintsovo, Podolsk, Naro-Fominsk, Taldom and Volokolamsk districts since February 10.

The information department of the Emergency Situations Ministry reported that 190 poultry have died at private households since.

"The H5 infection in birds has been confirmed in the Domodedovo, Podolsk, and Odintsovo districts. A preliminary analysis of the samples taken in the Naro-Fominsky and Taldom districts will be ready as early as today," emergency officials said.

The analysis of the samples taken in the settlement of Yershovskiye Dachi, Odintsovo district, and in the Volokolamsk district, will be ready on February 26.

No cases of people's catching bird flu infection in Moscow or the Moscow region have been detected, the Emergency Situations Ministry said.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote July Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 20 2007 at 5:05am
   ????????????????



Spread of bird flu in Moscow region stopped - official



20.02.2007, 14.30



MOSCOW, February 20 (Itar-Tass) -- The spread of the bird flu virus H5N1 in the Moscow Region has been stopped, the chief of the federal veterinary and phyto-sanitary watchdog’s department for Moscow and the Moscow Region, Alexei Volkov has said. He believes that the seventh bird flu trouble spot identified in the Ramenskoye district on Tuesday morning will be the last one.

“Currently there are no prerequisites for the infection’s further spread,” he told a news conference.

Volkov said that the measures veterinary services were taking to localize trouble sports and disposing of the dead birds were adequate.

“There is no need for culling all poultry in the Moscow Region,” he said.


    
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ian123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 20 2007 at 6:27am
It hadn't occured to me until I saw this thread that there will be government agencies interested in refining H5N1 to make it more pathogenic with a viewe to its possible use as a war weapon, as has happened with other toxic viruses/organisms. Nasty.
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