Kazakhstan confirms H5 bird flu in wild swans

Two swans were found dead in the coastal city of Aktau in the west of the country, Kazakh agriculture ministry says.

    The highly contagious outbreak of bird flu was found in wild swans [Koca Sulejmanovic/EPA]
    The highly contagious outbreak of bird flu was found in wild swans [Koca Sulejmanovic/EPA]

    Kazakhstan has confirmed an outbreak of the highly contagious H5 bird flu virus in wild swans, by the Caspian Sea.

    The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), citing a report from the Kazakh agriculture ministry, said on Friday that two swans were found dead in the coastal city of Aktau in the west of the country.

    Different strains of bird flu have been spreading across Europe and Asia since late last year, leading to large-scale slaughtering of poultry in certain countries and some human deaths in China.

    Last month, Slovakia also reported an avian influenza outbreak, and more than 22.5 million were culled in South Korea. 

    READ MORE: Bashar al-Assad Everything on table in Astana talks

    The strain of flu found in birds sometimes migrates to humans, which could be fatal.

    This has worried the public health community. Some predict a worldwide epidemic if human-to-human transition becomes possible, according to a study by Yale University.

    Kazakhstan is due to host the Syria peace talks in the capital Astana on January 23.

    Delegates from Turkey, Iran, Russia and Syria's opposition groups are descending into the country to discuss a possible solution to the six-year conflict.

    SOURCE: News agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.