A 14-year-old farm boy died in a hospital in the southeastern
Van province on Sunday, after developing pneumonia-like symptoms
has tested positive for bird flu. Turkey's health minister said
The boy's sister, who is hospitalized and in serious condition,
also tested positive for bird flu, Health Minister Recep Akdag
said. A third sibling is also suspected of having bird flu, he
Akdag did not say if the boy had died of the deadly H5N1 strain,
but he said samples were being sent to European labs for further
Authorities are closely monitoring H5N1, for fear it could
mutate into a form easily passed between humans and spark a
The disease has killed 70 people — many of them farm workers in
close contact with fowl from Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia.
Birds in Turkey, Romania, Russia and Croatia have recently
tested positive for H5N1.
The dead teenager, Mehmet Ali Kocyigit, was among two brothers
and two sisters between ages 6 and 15 who were admitted to hospital
last week after developing high fevers, coughing and bleeding in
The children helped to raise poultry on a small farm in the town
of Dogubeyazit, near Mount Ararat — believed to be the resting
place of Noah's Ark — and were in close contact with sick
Dogubeyazit is some 40 miles away from the town of Aralik where
Turkish authorities last week said some chickens had tested
positive for an H5 variant of bird flu.
(Chinadaily.com via agencies January 5, 2006)