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Bird flu aid for Turkish authorities welcome- Bairbre de Brún

9 January, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today welcomed support from EU experts for
the Turkish authorities, following the latest outbreak of  avian flu in Turkey. 
Ms de Brún made her comments after a joint WHO, European Commission and European
Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) expert team began work there
today.   The team will carry out fact-finding in the area affected; provide support to
the Turkish authorities in dealing with the situation and look at what further
needs the authorities there may have.

Three children died in Eastern Turkey last week and three others tested
positive for the lethal H5N1 strain of the virus in recent days. There are now a total of
nine confirmed human cases of avian flu, six in Eastern Turkey and three in

Speaking today Ms de Brún said:

"I welcome EU support for the Turkish authorities in light of the current outbreak
of the deadly H5N1 avian influenza virus there.  The deaths of three children as a result of the virus are particularly tragic.

"It must be stressed that this is bird flu and that it is only in very rare
cases that the virus can pass from poultry to humans. It is also important to note
that there have been no cases of the deadly H5N1 virus in the EU.

"Nonetheless, given the news that the deadly strain of bird flu H5N1 has surfaced close to the EU, it is only prudent that there is a unified European and all Ireland response.

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