Ukraine records first bird flu outbreak

Ukraine has recorded its first bird flu outbreak after finding more than 1,500 dead birds in the Black Sea region of Crimea, officials said Saturday. The dead birds - domesticated chickens and geese - tested positive for the H5 subtype and were found in five villages in the Crimea's Sovetskiy, Nizhnegorskiy and Dzhankoyskiy regions, said Ihor Krol, spokesman for Ukraine's Emergency Situations Ministry. He said authorities had imposed a quarantine on the villages, and people in contact with the dead birds were being monitored for health problems. The carcasses were being burned, Krol said. Samples would be sent to laboratories in Italy and Britain for further tests to determine whether the disease could be the deadly H5N1 strain, which is being monitored for fear it could mutate into a form that is easily transferable among humans.