Countries bordering Turkey are on high alert in response to the bird flu threat. Neighbouring Greece has stepped up checks and disinfections at its main border crossing at Kipi in the northeast of the country.
The European Union meanwhile has imposed a ban on imports of untreated feathers and poultry products from six countries bordering Turkey, including Armenia, Georgia, Iran and Syria.
And amid fears the H5N1 strain of avian flu could mutate, there’s encouraging news from the World Health Organisation.
“I think from what the team has told us in Turkey, they haven’t seen any reason to believe that the virus is becoming more easily spread among humans, so I think that’s reassuring because the transmission seems to be limited to bird-to-human,” said Maria Cheng, spokeswoman for the World Health Organisation.
Georgia has also stepped up bio-security measures on its border with Turkey. But authorities have admitted that smuggled goods could still get through unchecked. A greater risk, experts say, could come in the Spring, when migrating birds start to move north.