Russia: Suburb quarantined for bird flu check

Experts quarantined parts of two suburban Moscow districts and shut down an outdoor poultry market Saturday as they checked whether domestic fowl were killed by the H5N1 bird flu strain. Russian news agencies reported another incident of domestic poultry dying in the southern suburb of Podolsk, but officials with the federal agricultural oversight agency Rosselkhoznadzor could not immediately confirm the report. Two dozens birds in total on Friday had been reported dying in the Odintsovo and Domodedovo districts, and officials were taking worst-case precautionary measures pending the outcome of further tests, Nikolai Vlasov, a Rosselkhoznadzor veterinary official, said in televised comments. Regulators also shut down a large outdoor poultry market in Moscow where some of the dead birds appeared to have been bought as officials awaited laboratory results determine whether they were killed by the H5N1 strain of bird flu. The tests could be completed as early as Saturday evening, Rosselkhoznadzor spokesman Alexei Alexeyenko told The Associated Press.