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One Dead From Suspected Bird Flu In Turkey

The suspected outbreak is in the eastern part of the country (RFE/RL) 1 January 2006 -- One of six people in eastern Turkey being tested for possible bird flu has died.

A 14-year-old boy died of flulike symptoms, but it's not yet known whether he, three other children, and two adults have the disease. If confirmed, they would be the first human carriers of the bird flu virus outside East Asia.

All six come from Dogubayazit, a remote, rural area near Turkey's border with Armenia.

The Anatolia news agency quotes local officials as saying they have banned all transportation of poultry in Dogubayazit and that culling of birds would begin shortly as a precautionary measure while they await test results.

An outbreak of bird flu in October in northwest Turkey triggered the culling of more than 10,000 birds. That outbreak was identified as the deadly H5N1 strain.