KIEV, Ukraine, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Russian researchers say a strain of bird flu found in Ukraine could threaten human health, Itar-Tass reported Friday.
Chief Russian agriculture inspector Sergei Dankvert said testing done at the All-Russia Research Institute of Animal Protection found the strain present in Crimean flocks is the deadly H5N1.
Ukraine President Viktor Yuschenko ordered a state of emergency to contain the outbreak, which has spread beyond the initial quarantine zone.
The Crimean Health Ministry said the disease has been detected in 17 towns and villages but has not yet spread to the human population.
Ukraine already has destroyed 30,000 birds, Itar-Tass said. The country has some 11.5 million birds, half of them on poultry farms.