(AFP) - The H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus has been found among dozens of dead hens in Russia's southern region of Volgograd, in the second such case in two weeks, an official with the local administration said, Trend reports.
"A local veterinary laboratory confirmed that the blood of the dead hens contained the H5N1 virus," the Interfax news agency quoted an official with the administration of the district where the birds were found as saying.
Samples were sent to the city of Vladimir, east of Moscow, where the type of virus was to be more thoroughly tested, the official said.
Twenty-five hens died Tuesday in the village of Kolobrodovo, in the Frolovo district of the Volgograd region, he said. The village was placed under quarantine.
H5N1 had already been found among dozens of dead birds in the Volgograd region late last month.
Russia's chief veterinarian Sergei Dankvert warned last month that bird flu was posing a growing threat to the country.
In its most dangerous form H5N1 can be deadly to humans, and scientists worry that it could mutate into a form transmissible from human to human.
According to the World Health Organisation, 186 people have been reported infected with H5N1 and more than half of those have died.
The outbreaks in the Volgograd region follow outbreaks in several other parts of southern Russia as well as in nearby Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia.