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January 9, 2006

Bird Flu Concerns Increase In Turkey

Topics: Health Issues

Concerns in Turkey over the spread of the deadly H5N1 virus, are growing.

Turkey's health minister Recep Akdag confirmed on Monday that 14 people have been hospitalised with bird flu, with three having died last week. There have been five human cases of the virulent H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus in the eastern Van region (including the three that died) close to the border with Iran. But there are also two confirmed cases in the capital, Ankara, and two in Kastamonu, west of the Black Sea coast - small children aged four and five. And there is also one confirmed case in Corum, north of central Anatolia, and one case in Samsun, on the Black Sea.

The Turkish authorities now fear that the virus will spread to the big cities, and have banned sales of unpacked and unbranded poultry and eggs in Istanbul. Adding to the concern is the fact that tests on several chickens in the Kucukcekmece and Gaziosmanpasa districts of Istanbul have also proved positive.

So far, according to WHO, there are no signs that the bird flu virus spreading in Turkey is being passed among humans.

But in my opinion, placing much faith in their assesment may be a bit optomistic. Even WHO qualifies their statement with - "At the moment there is no indication...". Another news source says that WHO should know within 48 to 72 hours whether there has been any human-to-human transfer of the deadly bird flu virus in Turkey.

Related:
Worried Turks head to hospital for bird flu tests
'High chance' of bird flu reaching Britain
China announces 8th human case of bird flu
Bird flu kills 12th Indonesian man

Posted by Richard at January 9, 2006 11:41 AM



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