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Nine people tested for bird flu in Turkey

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Nine people tested for bird flu in Turkey

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As EU veterinary experts meet to discuss the threat of bird flu in Europe it has bee reported that nine people in Turkey have been tested for the disease.

They had been in contact with pigeons which died. An official was quoted as saying the risk of a positive result was small It comes a day after officials confirmed that an outbreak in Turkey was caused by the H5N1 virus which is potentially fatal to humans. The experts are assessing the risk migratory birds pose to the EU and what action needs to be taken. British scientists are expected to say on Saturday whether the virus found in three ducks in Romania was the H5N1 type. Before yesterday’s confirmation Turkey and Romania were already taking measures to counter the spread of the disease. Thousands of birds have been culled. The EU has banned imports of live poultry and feathers from the two countries and the European Commission has advised member states to stockpile anti-viral drugs in case of a pandemic. Seeking to calm fears the World Health Organisation has said H5N1 does not spread easily from birds to people. But scientists believe the virus is mutating towards a form that could spread rapidly among humans.