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H5N1 Outbreaks Explode in Turkey in 2006
January 18, 2006
The latest OIE report from Turkey describes the explosion of H5N1 outbreaks. The report includes 17 confirmed outbreaks in domestic poultry. These outbreaks began as early as November 25, 2005 in Agri. Additional outbreaks were confirmed in Aydin, Bursa, Erzurum, Igdir, Istanbul, S. Ufra, Van, and Yozgat. The likely source of the outbreaks is under investigation, but wild birds have been sourced as the cause of two of the Agri outbreaks, and transport of poultry was linked to the Yozgat outbreaks.
In addition, 5 instances of wild bird H5 infections were identified. These began as early as November 21, 2005 in Bitlis and Erzincan. Other provinces with confirmed H5 infections in wild birds included Ankara, Aydim, and Yozgat. Birds positive fro H5 included wild ducks, pigeons, swans, comorants, and sparrows.
However, the H5 outbreaks exploded in 2006 in 50 locations in Ardahan (1), Batman (6), Bayburt (1), Diyarbakir (8), Elazig (1), Erzurum (4), Eskisehir (1), Isparta (2), Izmir (1), Karabuk (1), Karaman (1), Kars(4), Konya (1), Malatya (1), Mugla (2), Mus (5), Samsun (2), Siirt (2), Sivas (1), S.Urfa (1), Van (1), Yozgat (1), Gaziantep (2).
The explosion of cases in 2006 suggests more human cases will soon be reported. Moreover, the widespread distribution of these outbreaks indicates the lack of OIE reports of H5N1 in Turkey’s neighboring countries is not due to a lack of H5N1 in Turkey’s neighboring countries.
The simultaneous detection of human H5N1 cases across Turkey also indicates H5N1 human cases are also in Turkey’s neighbors. Today there was report of a suspect fatal case who developed symptoms 15 days ago in Iraq, suggesting that the frequency of human cases will rise in neighboring countries also.
The lack of reports from these countries highlights serious surveillance or reporting flaws. The repeated denials of H5N1 in dying poultry lack credibility and increase the likelihood that H5N1 will become endemic in the region.