Saturday, January 07, 2006

turkey has bird flu

When I told a colleague about Turkey having bird flu, she thought I was making a pun. Unfortunately, I wasn't -- Turkey really DOES have human cases of bird flu. Three children from the same family have died in a northeastern Turkish village. Turkish authorities have quarantined the village, and twenty people -- mostly in the same part of Turkey -- are hospitalized with what they suspect is A/H5N1 bird flu.

Now, the three children were reportedly exposed to dead chickens. I don't know about the other twenty patients. But it's a little disconcerting, since previously the A/H5N1 influenza hadn't been reported among birds in that part of Turkey. And every human who gets the bird flu -- especially during the "regular" flu season -- increases the odds of the A/H5N1 getting a chance to mix it up with some other flu strain that is better adapted to human-to-human contact...

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