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Moscow Imposes Quarantine in Multiple Districts Over Bird Flu Outbreak

A global outbreak of avian influenza has sickened millions of farm poultry and wild birds this year. Kirill Zykov / Moskva News Agency

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin on Thursday ordered a quarantine for multiple districts in Russia’s capital due to an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu.

The order introduces a quarantine for 11 of Moscow's 125 districts that have been assessed to be most at risk for spreading influenza.

Epidemiological surveillance services will be intensified to detect potential cases and any operations related to poultry farming — such as the import and export of eggs and slaughtering of birds — are prohibited in the areas affected by the quarantine.

Likewise, the order forbids residents from visiting areas where the influenza is spreading.

Twenty-two outbreaks of the H5N1 subtype of the influenza virus have been recorded across Russia since the beginning of May, according to the Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Inspection Service, leading to the deaths of thousands of birds.

While humans can contract bird flu, cases remain very rare, and global health officials have said the risk to humans is low.

Russia's consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said Thursday that there have been no human infections recorded in Moscow.

On May 8, several municipalities in Russia’s central Kirov region went under quarantine after outbreaks of bird flu were reported there.

Quarantines were also introduced in early May for a number of areas in Yoshkar-Ola, the capital of the republic of Mari El, before local authorities said outbreaks there had been contained.

This year, a global outbreak of avian influenza has sickened millions of farm poultry and wild birds, as well as other animals, including seals and foxes.

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