Source Pravda.Ru

Turkish authorities detect new H5 bird flu cases

Turkish authorities on Tuesday announced that some dead chickens tested positive for an H5 variant of bird flu and placed parts of an eastern town under quarantine.

The virus was first detected Monday following tests on samples taken from the town of Aralik, in the Igdir province bordering Armenia, where deaths of chickens have been reported in recent days, the Agriculture Ministry said.

Authorities have already culled some 360 chickens to prevent it from spreading and said "all necessary measures were being taken," the statement said.

The statement said that samples would be sent to laboratories in Europe to see if the virus is H5N1, which is being tracked worldwide out of fear that it could mutate into a form that is easily transmitted to humans.

It said neighboring countries and international bodies would be notified.

The statement said the virus was estimated to be brought to Turkey by birds migrating from Caucasus regions.

Romanian authorities also quarantined a southeastern village Tuesday after detecting new H5 &to=http://english.pravda.ru/accidents/21/97/385/16494_birdflu.html' target=_blank>bird flu case.

In October, Turkish authorities culled more than 10,000 poultry after they detected the deadly H5N1 virus in the northwestern town of Kiziksa, near Istanbul. Earlier this month, authorities said the threat of virus in that area was eliminated, but warned that migratory birds could still spread the flu elsewhere.

Since 2003, the strain of bird flu has ravaged flocks of birds in Asia and killed at least 71 people there _ most of them farm workers in close contact with birds.

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