Thursday, January 05, 2006

Turkey's Bird-Flu Deaths Bring Virus Nearer to Europe

Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Turkey said a second teenager infected with avian flu died, indicating the virus that's killed at least 74 people has moved outside East Asia to the threshold of Europe.

A 15-year-old girl who died earlier today and her 14-year- old brother who died on Jan. 1 both had avian flu, said Huseyin Avni Sahin, chief physician at the hospital where the children died. The hospital, in the eastern city of Van, is treating nine others suspected of having the deadly H5N1 avian flu virus.

The deaths come less than two weeks after Turkey reported a second wave of avian flu in poultry and mark the virus's westward progression from China and Southeast Asia. Authorities are concerned Turkey hasn't done enough to prevent human infections, which increase the risk of the virus changing into a pandemic form that may kill millions.

Read the whole story on Bloomberg.com

See also: EU sends vet to Turkey to assess bird flu threat (Reuters)

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