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Poultry Deaths in Turkey Raise H5N1 Survellance Concerns

Recombinomics Commentary
December 5,  2006

15 chickens died in the past week in the village of Firindere in Tokat. Villagers, who suspected BF, informed of the situation to the Municipality Agriculture department. Village mukhtar Rahmi Turgut stated that their village was not effected by BF in the past years, and that they are expecting the arrivals of the officials to make the necessary tests. Villagers, who were afraid that their chickens would be culled, did not want to inform the authorities.

The above translation describes a suspect H5N1 outbreak in Turkey.  This report is similar to reports from adjacent Azerbaijan.  Although western Turkey had confirmed H5N1 in October, 2005, large wild bird outbreaks were denied at this time last year. 

However, Turkey subsequently acknowledge that there were H5N1 outbreaks in eastern Turkey in December, 2005 and Egypt recently released the Qinghai H5N1 sequence from a teal which was also isolated in December, 2005.  Although Azerbaijan did not acknowledged outbreaks prior to February, 2006, there were several human cluster in Azerbaijan as well as massive die offs of birds in February that were H5N1 positive.

The reports of suspect H5N1 cases in Turkey are cause for concern, as is the lack of H5N1 reports from countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

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