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Turkey Reports Human Death From Bird Flu

The cases of flu are in the eastern part of the country (RFE/RL) 4 January 2006 -- Turkey said today that at least two people have been dignosed with the deadly strain of bird flu virus in the eastern part of the country.

One of the two, a 14-year-old boy, has died.

It's the first known human cases of bird flu infection outside Southeast Asia and China.

Health Minister Recep Akdag made the announcement today at a news conference in Ankara. He said a diagnosis is pending on a third person.

The deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu has killed more than 70 people in East Asia since 2003 and forced the slaughter of millions of birds.

Turkey lies on the path of migratory birds that are believed to spread the virus. It has suffered two outbreaks of the highly contagious disease among poultry in the past three months.

Experts across Europe have been on alert, culling birds and taking other precautionary measures since October outbreaks in Turkey and Romania.


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