Friday, February 09, 2007

Fourth child in hospital in Turk bird flu outbreak

A fourth child with flu-like symptoms has been taken to hospital for observation after chickens died of bird flu in a village in southeastern Turkey, local officials said on Friday.

Turkey confirmed an outbreak of bird flu in the impoverished province of Batman on Thursday, a year after the H5N1 strain of the disease killed four children in the region.

Agricultural authority workers in white protective suits and masks disinfected areas at the site of the outbreak in Bogazkoy, a hillside of simple one-storey houses, around which a 10 km (6 miles) quarantine zone has been established.

Four children are under observation in hospital, local officials said, three—aged two, three and 16—in Batman and a one-year-old boy in neighbouring Diyarbakir.

The Agriculture Ministry said 170 chickens had died of bird flu in the village, where virtually all livestock have since been culled. It said it believed wild birds spread the disease.

Teams of workers entered courtyards in Bogazkoy to collect chickens in black plastic bags. The birds were suffocated and dumped in piles by the road.

“The animals have been culled. There is no new case (of sickness) and there is no problem now in the village,” said the village headman in Bogazkoy, Isa Tumenci.

Paramilitary police manned checkpoints at the entrance to the village and villagers were not allowed to leave.

Veterinary experts were carrying out tests to determine whether the virus was the deadly H5N1 strain. Turkey culled more than 1.3 million birds during the 2006 outbreak.

Avian influenza story source: Reuters’ Alertnet

Posted by john T. on 02/09 at 06:28 AM
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