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Dead Boy In Turkey Tests Negative For Bird Flu

(RFE/RL) 2 January 2006 -- The Turkish Health Ministry says a 14-year-old boy who died yesterday in the southeastern city of Van did not die of bird flu.

The boy, who is reported to have become sick after working with poultry on a farm, died in hospital. He had lived in the Dogubayazit district, an area near the borders of Armenia and Iran.

Five other people from the same region, four of them children, have also been tested for the deadly H5N1 strain of avian influenza.

Health Ministry official Turan Buzgan said three of the five tested negative for the deadly flu strain. Test results for the other two have yet to be announced.

Birds in Turkey, Romania, Russia, and Croatia have tested positive for H5N1, but there have been no confirmed cases of the illness in humans in these countries so far.

Some 70 people are confirmed to have died from bird flu in East Asia since 2003.