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Reply #30: Turkish Bird Flu Victims 'Were Playing With Chicken Heads' (For Days) [View All]

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Clara T Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-07-06 06:26 PM
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30. Turkish Bird Flu Victims 'Were Playing With Chicken Heads' (For Days)
Turkish bird flu victims 'were playing with chicken heads'

Luke Harding
Saturday January 7, 2006
The Guardian


An 11-year-old girl became the third victim of bird flu in Turkey yesterday, days after her brother and sister died from the disease. Hulya Kocyigit, 11, died in a hospital in the eastern city of Van, as teams from the World Health Organisation and the European commission arrived in the region to assess the risk.

Doctors said the Kocyigit children had almost certainly contracted bird flu after playing with the heads of dead chickens at their parents' rural poultry farm. The girl's sister Fatima, 15, and brother Mehmet Ali, 14, died earlier this week. They are the first to have died from the H5N1 bird-flu strain in Turkey, prompting fears it could spread to mainland Europe.

<snip>

"It looks like these cases have come from direct contact with poultry. We have seen this with most of the east Asian cases," Christine McNab, a spokeswoman for the WHO in Geneva, told the Guardian yesterday. She added: "If there is an outbreak of avian flu in poultry then eventually there will be human cases, especially if people touch infected chicken blood, feathers or insides. It's one of the major modes of transmission."
Some 30 people are in hospital with bird flu-like symptoms, officials in Van said. Three of them were in a serious condition. The condition of a fourth ill child from the same family had improved and he was no longer on a respirator.

The children were admitted with high fevers, coughing and bleeding in their throats. They had reportedly tossed the chicken heads "like balls" inside their home in Dogubayazit, a remote town close to the border with Armenia. "They played with the heads for days," Huseyin Avni Sahin, the head of the hospital, told agencies. "They were in very, very close contact with the dead chickens."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/birdflu/story/0,14207,1681097...
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