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Spread Of Bird Flu Continues In Turkey

Turkish workers culling birds on 7 January (AFP) 7 January 2006 -- Turkish Health Minister Recep Akdag has announced the detection of bird flu in a fourth person, who he said was undergoing hospital treatment.

Akdag said that person was being treated at the same hospital in the eastern town of Van where bird flu has killed three people in the past week.

The World Health Organization (WHO) meanwhile said that two of those who died in Turkey had the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus. At least 32 people reporting flu-like symptoms are in hospitals in the Van region.

Turkish Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker said bird flu is spreading among birds in Turkey, having been detected among flocks in two more eastern provinces.

Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan has called on Turks to not hide poultry to escape bird-flu culls.

Iran has taken measures to prevent bird flu from entering the country.

Georgian agriculture officials have said bird flu is not to blame for the recent deaths of poultry in western Georgia.

(compiled from wire and regional television reports)