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Cablegate: Turkey: Avian Influenza Outbreak Situation Update

VZCZCXRO9596
RR RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD
DE RUEHAK #0292/01 0461414
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 151414Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5247
INFO RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC
RUEHVI/AMEMBASSY VIENNA 1691
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 6701
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 2700
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 3882
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHDC
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1582
RUEHZN/EST COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 000292

SIPDIS

STATE ALSO FOR STUDZINSKI AND LANGE
USAID FOR TROSTLE, BLANCHET AND CARROLL
HHS FOR WSTEIGER/PBUDASHEWITZ
FAS FOR OCRA; OSTA
FAS PASS FSIS AND APHIS
VIENNA FOR APHIS
BRUSSELS FOR APHIS/FERNANDEZ
GENEVA FOR HEALTH ATTACHE
ROME FOR US MISSION TO FAO

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958:N/A
TAGS: KFLU ETRD EAGR KPAO TBIO AMED CASC EAID SENV TU
SUBJECT: TURKEY: AVIAN INFLUENZA OUTBREAK SITUATION UPDATE

REF: ANKARA 214 AND PREVIOUS

ANKARA 00000292 001.2 OF 002


1. SUMMARY: Embassy Ag office is now aware of six outbreaks of Avian
Influenza (AI), three of which have confirmed lab results and have
been reported to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) by
TurkeyQs Ministry of Agriculture. The Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations (FAO) office in Turkey has
expressed some concern about the most recent outbreaks since they
occurred near commercial poultry operations. Contact with wild birds
continues to be the cause of the outbreaks according to FAO and EU
reps in Ankara. They also believe that the GOTQs response to the AI
outbreaks has been sufficient but increased surveillance in wetland
areas and additional public education outreach is needed. End
summary.

2. On February 13, Embassy Ag Couns met with veterinary experts in
FAOQs Ankara office to discuss the current bird flu situation in
Turkey. Overall, FAO reps are satisfied that villagers are reporting
cases to officials and have good cooperation with local
veterinarians. However, they categorized the current situation in
Turkey as QriskyQ since the number of outbreaks is increasing and
two of the most recent ones were near commercial poultry
operations.

3. As of February 15, Turkey has reported a total of three outbreaks
to the OIE. These are laboratory confirmed cases having the Avian
Influenza H5N1 virus. In addition to these three outbreaks, Turkey
has notified the EU, but not yet to the OIE, of three others for
which rapid tests have been positive and one for which the rapid
test was negative. It appears that the Turkish Ministry of
Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) has taken the necessary culling
and quarantine measures. (Quarantine takes place until there is no
longer risk of the disease, approximately 42 days after the Qend of
the infectionQ period, which is when all disinfecting and cleaning
measures have been taken to remove all possible infected items from
the area.)

4. Summary and details of the outbreaks in 2008:

The three cases reported to the OIE:
a) January 18 - Sazkoy Village, Zonguldak province Q 583 total bird
deaths (573 were culled in 5 villages).
b) January 26 Q Yorukler village, Samsun province Q 57 total bird
deaths (37 culled).
c) February 1 Q Yenicam village, Sakarya province Q 3,646 total bird
deaths (3,593 culled).
d)
Two additional suspected outbreaks occurring after February 1 and
awaiting lab confirmation, according to FAO and EU epidemiologists:
a) Konacik village, Sakarya province Q 1,119 total bird deaths
b) Perme district, Samsun province Q 48 total bird deaths

Another suspicious case occurred in Samsun province but initial
rapid test results were negative so no culling was done.

5. FAO staff is concerned because as a result of the third reported
case, culling had to take place in villages on the border of Kocaeli
province, a poultry producing area with about 250,000 broilers and
layers. If more outbreaks occur in this area, it could pose a
threat to commercial producers.

6. All experts believe that the source of the virus is wild birds
but spread of the virus can be controlled by biosafety measures.
FAO experts continue to work closely with the EU Avian Influenza
response and preparedness team in Turkey to improve biosecurity. A
team will go to Samsun and Sakarya provinces next week to collect
samples from wild birds to assess the role of wild birds in recent
outbreaks.

7. According to local FAO epidemiologists, MARAQs response to this
yearQs AI outbreaks is satisfactory but more surveillance is needed
in wetland areas. They also believe that the public education

ANKARA 00000292 002.2 OF 002


program needs to be evaluated and more tailored to target audiences
with clear, simple messages. FAO reps also recommend a
comprehensive study of wild birds in Turkey.


Wilson

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