Russian authorities have begun vaccinating poultry as the battle against a bird flu outbreak around Moscow moves up a gear.
It is the first time the disease has occurred so close to the city and officials say they are taking all necessary measures to prevent it spreading any further.
Russia’s Chief Veterinary Inspector confirms that H5N1 – a strain of the disease that can be fatal to humans – has been found in the five locations were bird flu has reported so far. He said preliminary tests suggested the virus may have come from Azerbaijan or Iran.
The market where the infected chickens were bought is now under quarantine, as are the villages concerned.
Prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation to determine whether regulations had been breached at the market.
Experts fear H5N1 could mutate into a form that would be easily spread among humans – potentially causing death on a huge scale in cities like Moscow.