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Six More Ozcan Family Members With H5N1 Bird Flu Symptoms

Recombinomics Commentary

January 21, 2006

Six members of the Ozcan family living in the Dogubayazit district of the far eastern Turkish province of Agri on the Iranian border were transferred on Friday to Igdir State Hospital with suspected bird flu.

Six members of the Ozcan family, related to Fatma Ozcan who died of bird flu last Sunday, applied to hospital complaining of sickness.

Father Mehmet Ozcan said that they had paid a condolence visit to Fatma's family. Two days ago he and his children ate chicken which his wife had killed and put into the deep freezer a month ago.

The above comments raise more questions concerning extended human-to-human transmission chains within the Ozman/Kocyigit family.  There have already been 4 H5N1 confirmed fatalities and 3 more H5N1 positive family members in the hospital, but 9 additional family members have been hospitalized and released and it remains unclear if the six new patients are among those released or are additional family members.

Answers to these questions are not in the WHO updates on H5N1 positive patients in Turkey because although the 7 H5N1 family members are described, WHO failed to give any relationship information for those hospitalized patients who were or were not lab confirmed.

It is unclear if the admission of these family members to Igdir State Hospital indicates they live in a separate village, or merely reflects that fact that the other hospitals in Dogubeyitz or Van are already full.

The WHO updates also failed to give disease onset dates.  Dates in various media reports strongly supported extensive human-to-human transmission through several transmission chains over an extended time period.


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