The journalist who was checked into a hospital in Belgium with suspected bird flu has tested negative. Every precaution was taken when the man, of Russian origin, began to suffer from flu-like symptoms. But doctors now say they are 100% sure his high fever is the result of regular flu, not the killer virus. The reporter had just returned from eastern Turkey where an outbreak has claimed the lives of at least three children.
However, of the 18 confirmed cases in the country, three have been discharged from hospital. In Russia, the agriculture ministry says it has developed an effective vaccine for chicken against the most deadly strain of bird flu, referred to as H5N1. It could go into production by April.
With the culling of thousands of wild and farm birds underway, Turkish authorities have been meeting to discuss measures to help the poultry industry. Officials have found some farmers reluctant to hand over their birds because they fear they will not receive compensation. Ankara has also launched a public information film to raise awareness about the virus.