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Bird Deaths in Russia Are Being Blamed on ‘Low Pathogenic Flu’

The H5N1 avian flu didn’t cause deaths of wild birds in Russia’s southern Krasnodar region last week, the government’s food safety agency said.

Lab tests proved a “low-pathogenic flu,” not H5N1, killed hundreds of wild ducks in coastal lakes in the Anapa and Temryuk districts in the Krasnodar region last week, said Alexei Alekseenko, spokesman for Rosselkhoznadzor.

No poultry for human consumption was infected, Krasnodar’s administration said on its website Nov. 30. Governor Alexander Tkachev ordered a quarantine of areas and banned hunting there to keep the virus from spreading, the press service said.

Most bird viruses don’t infect humans, according to the World Health Organization. The disease can be spread by wild water fowl, the WHO says.

Rosselkhoznadzor will eliminate dead birds from the area and will not cull other ducks, Alekseenko said. There were about 12,000 wild ducks in the Krasnodar areas last week, according to Rosselkhoznadzor data.

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