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NewsAsia 7 Jan 06
Turkey reports bird flu in ducks
ANKARA - Bird flu has been found in two wild ducks near the Turkish capital, Ankara, days after the country suffered its first human fatalities from the disease, the agriculture minister said Friday.
"We detected bird flu in two wild ducks" near a dam in Nallihan, lying some 120 kilometres (about 74 miles) west of Ankara, Mehdi Eker told a press conference in the eastern city of Erzurum after a trip to the area, the Anatolia news agency reported.
"This gives us a clue with regards to the origin of the disease," he added, in reference to the theory that migratory birds were responsible.
The minister said veterinary experts had so far confirmed five outbreaks in poultry in the eastern provinces of Igdir, Agri and Erzurum, as well as the southeastern province of Sanliurfa. Reports of possible infection in other provinces were being investigated.
Turkey has stepped up controls since three teenagers from the same family died in a hospital in the eastern city of Van this week while being treated for bird flu.
The health ministry announced earlier Friday that two of the children, who came from the remote town of Dogubeyazit in Agri, were found to have the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus. One of the 20 patients being treated in the hospital had also tested positive for the strain, which has killed more than 70 people in Southeast Asia and China since 2003. - AFP /ls
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