Russia expects to prepare bird-flu vaccine by September
Russia plans to intensify its fight against infectious diseases by allocating $40 million to improve research facilities inside Russia and in central Asia, Zurabov said. The country also is spending $18 million to fight poliomyelitis, a viral disease that mostly infects children and can lead to paralysis. Since January, at least 55 people have died from the virus in Azerbaijan, Cambodia, China, Djibouti, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq and Turkey, according to the WHO. That compares with 19 fatalities in Vietnam and Cambodia in the first six months of 2005. Almost all human H5N1 cases have been linked to close contact with sick or dead birds, such as children playing with them or adults butchering them or taking off feathers, according to the WHO. Thorough cooking of meat and eggs kills the virus. More than 209 million poultry have died or been culled worldwide since 2004 because of H5N1 outbreaks, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations said a month ago. (Bloomberg)
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