Skip to comments.Turkish Boy's Death Not Bird Flu (Something New?)
Posted on 01/02/2006 12:07:09 PM PST by blam
Turkish boy's death not bird flu
Officials have been taking precautions in Turkey
A 14-year-old Turkish boy who died at the weekend was not killed by bird flu, the country's health ministry says. The boy was initially feared to have died from the same virus that has killed more than 70 people in Asia.
Three of his siblings, who were also taken ill, have also tested negative for the disease, while tests on two others have still not been returned.
It is still not clear what did kill Mehmet Ali Kocyigit, officials said.
"The disease is not caused by bird flu or any other flu virus," Turan Buzgan, a health ministry official, said.
The hospital where the boy was on life support before he died said he had pneumonia, according to CNN-Turk television, but this was not confirmed by the ministry.
The dead victim had been admitted to hospital on Saturday, along with his brother and two sisters, aged from six to 15, after they developed high fever, coughing, and bleeding in their throats.
The children lived on a poultry farm, where some of the birds had become sick. They reportedly became ill after eating one of them.
The eldest sister was also reported to be in critical condition.
Two other patients, aged five and 35, were also taken to hospital on Sunday, the Anatolia news agency reported.
The H5N1 strain of bird flu - which has infected and killed dozens of people in Asia - has been discovered in bird flocks in Turkey, but no human cases have yet been detected.
Turkey lies on the migration path of wild birds suspected of spreading the flu westwards from Asia.
So far the disease appears only to have infected people who live or work closely with birds, but health experts fear it could mutate and spread among human populations as easily as common influenza.
Farm boy's death raises fears of human bird flu in Turkey
Alok Jha, science correspondent
Monday January 2, 2006
The Guardian (UK)
A 14-year-old Turkish boy who helped to raise chickens on a poultry farm has died in a suspected bird flu outbreak. Doctors are awaiting test results later today to confirm whether or not he died of the virus; if they prove positive, he will be Turkey's first human victim of the disease.
Six people, five of them children, have been tested for the bird flu virus in the past two days after suffering from fever and pneumonia-like symptoms.
The dead boy, Mehmet Ali Kocyigit, was one of four children, two brothers and two sisters, aged between six and 15-years-old admitted to hospital in the south east of Turkey on Saturday after developing high fevers, coughing, and bleeding in their throats. They helped to raise poultry on a farm, where they were in close contact with sick birds and reportedly became ill after eating one of them.
Doctors at the hospital in Van province said before Mehmet died he had been on a life support machine after his brain functions ceased. One of his sisters was last night said to be in a critical condition which is worsening.
The H5N1 bird flu virus, which has been at the centre of much concern has transferred to humans several times, with lethal results, but mainly in the far east. Humans can be infected by proximity to infected birds and droppings. Bird meat poses no threat unless it is undercooked.
A local official, Rauf Ulusoy, was quoted as telling Anatolia news agency: "As a precaution, we have forbidden the passage of any poultry into or out of the district. Security forces, along with teams from the agriculture ministry, are checking entrances and exits." He added: "We are making announcements in the district that poultry should not be eaten."
The agriculture minister, Mehdi Eker, said: "Right now, there is nothing to worry about, bird flu is totally under control."
Turkish authorities last week said that some chickens had tested positive for an H5 variant of bird flu. Parts of the town of Aralik, near the border with Armenia, have been placed under quarantine. The children in the suspected outbreak live in the town of Dogubayazit, some 40 miles south of Aralik.
Since 2003, the strain of bird flu has spread through flocks of birds in Asia and killed at least 71 people, most of them farm workers in close contact with birds. Birds in Turkey, Romania, Russia and Croatia recently tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain in birds, but no human cases have been detected.
?.....What about bleeding in the lungs,......clots?
One way might be if the disease released toxins into the fowl, and they survived the cooking process.
Or maybe it just wasn't as well cooked as it needed to be.
Was he the first-born?
Interesting article, thanks for posting.
One of my concerns is that the bird flu may mutate enough to give a false negative on testing. Another concern I have is whether or not the tissue sampling was done correctly, because taking tissue from the wrong area can give a false negative as well.
Bleeding in the throat could be from DIC, a bleeding disorder caused by massive infection, or from damage to the throat tissue by caused by the pathogen itself, or from coughing violently, or from medical procedure (such as putting down an airway with severely inflamed tissues).
No way to know.
Yup. Thanks for the insight.
I'll keep an eye on this story as it develops.