The ongoing spread of bird flu has taken its latest toll in Turkey where the Health Ministry has confirmed that five more people have contracted the potentially deadly HN51 strain of the virus, bringing the
total number of infected people to 14.
A mass cull of poultry was ordered in the east of the country as new cases were also reported in the west and north and Europe is now on high alert. Stiffer regulations are now being imposed on people arriving from infected countries in Germany, Romania and Bulgaria, with the latter country now disinfecting arriving cars at its borders with Turkey.
Quarantine areas have been created in Turkey after three of the 14 confirmed cases in humans proved fatal. Meanwhile, the European Commission has banned the importation of untreated bird feathers.
In a statement on its web site today, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said it was satisfied Turkey was doing all it could to stem the outbreak: ‘The initial investigation has found no evidence that the virus has increased its transmissibility or is spreading from person to person. Most persons under investigation are children, often from the same family, and almost all have a documented link to dead or diseased poultry.
‘Outbreaks in poultry are now known to be occurring in several parts of the country. In recent days, the Ministry of Agriculture has confirmed H5N1 outbreaks in birds in 10 of the country?s 81 provinces. Extensive culling is under way, and several other possible outbreaks are under investigation.’