49704 1/13/2006 11:56 06ANKARA133 Embassy Ankara UNCLASSIFIED VZCZCXRO1162 OO RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHPB DE RUEHAK #0133/01 0131156 ZNR UUUUU ZZH O 131156Z JAN 06 FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2529 RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC PRIORITY INFO RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 0532 RUEHAH/AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT 1813 RUEHKB/AMEMBASSY BAKU 1292 RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST 0788 RUEHCH/AMEMBASSY CHISINAU 0329 RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS 1466 RUEHSF/AMEMBASSY SOFIA 0956 RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI 2943 RUEHVI/AMEMBASSY VIENNA 1478 RUEHYE/AMEMBASSY YEREVAN 1163 RUEHKU/AMEMBASSY KUWAIT 0785 RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH 0558 RUEHMK/AMEMBASSY MANAMA 0141 RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 5303 RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KIEV 0656 RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 6853 RUEHNC/AMEMBASSY NICOSIA 6521 RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 6448 RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS RUEHVK/AMCONSUL VLADIVOSTOK 0062 RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 0263 RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 9561 RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE RHMFIUU/39ABG INCIRLIK AB TU RHMFIUU/39CES INCIRLIK AB TU RHMFIUU/BDP INCIRLIK AB TU RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHDC RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1415 RUEHAST/USOFFICE ASTANA 0060 RUEHZN/EST COLLECTIVE UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ANKARA 000133
USAID FOR TROSTLE, BLANCHET AND CARROLL HHS FOR WSTEIGER/PBUDASHEWITZ FAS FOR ITP/MACKE/THOMAS, CMP/DLP/WETZEL, FAS/JDEVER FAS PASS FSIS AND APHIS VIENNA PASS APHIS BRUSSELS PASS APHIS/FERNANDEZ GENEVA PASS HEALTH ATTACHE ROME FOR US MISSION TO FAO
E.O. 12958:N/A TAGS: TBIO, AMED, EAID, CASC, SENV, EAGR, KPAO, TU SUBJECT: Turkey Avian Influenza Update - January 12
Ref: ANKARA 118 AND PREVIOUS
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1. Summary. There are 18 human cases confirmed by local testing, so far, but no new deaths. There is still no evidence of human-to-human transmission. The geographic distribution of the confirmed cases continues to broaden with the two new cases in southeastern Turkey. Official sources now put at 24 the number of provinces with suspected or confirmed AI in birds, of which 11 have been confirmed by test results. Not all of these 11 may be H5N1, however. 350,000 birds have been culled and a Agriculture official told us the Ministry is now planning to cull all birds outside of commercial operations. The public information campaign continues to ramp up. End Summary.
Cases in Humans
2. MOH official told us there are now 18 human cases that have tested positive locally for H5N1: besides the 15 previously-reported cases there are two new cases in Sanliurfa and Siirt (both in southeastern Turkey). The southeastern Turkey cases represent a continued geographic broadening: until now the confirmed human cases had been only in far eastern Turkey and north-central Anatolia. The eighteenth confirmed case is the third sibling of the original family in Dogubeyazit whose earlier test (based on nasal swabs) had come up negative. Now, testing based on body tissue confirmed H5N1, as had been suspected. This brings the total number of provinces with confirmed human cases to 9. No new deaths have been confirmed. There is still no evidence of human-to-human transmission.
3. A Ministry of Agriculture official told us that of the 24 provinces with confirmed or suspected AI in birds, only 11 have confirmed test results showing AI. The official said he believed that the cases that tested positive the birds did not necessarily test positive for H5N1 (it could just be H5). Press reports suggest a larger number of provinces--up to 28--have cases in birds.
4. 350,000 birds have been culled so far. The Ministry of Agriculture official also told us the Ministry is now
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planning to cull all birds (presumably only domestic fowl) in Turkey outside of commercial operations. Separately, the Chamber of Commerce called for also culling some of the commercial operations' birds, as well as all other birds, for an estimated total of 8 million birds. For the commercial operations, the idea is for the GOT to compensate the companies, since the companies have limited storage capacity and can no longer afford to keep feeding the birds.
5. The Minister of Agriculture held a meeting with southeastern officials in the city of Diyarbarkir followed by a press conference. He said the map of confirmed cases reflects the pattern of bird migration, stressed the importance of education people and committed that people would be compensated for culled birds.
Public Information Campaign
6. There are news reports that the public education campaign has reached all 81 provinces, with leaflets, posters, local and national radio and TV, and short films being used. There is a special effort to target children and parents. The authorities' efforts may often not be via mass media; many areas affected by AI are not reached by Turkish television, for example. We have some evidence that local authorities are addressing their constituents in Kurdish - for example in Dogubeyazit - and this would obviously be helpful with those rural citizens who may not speak or understand Turkish well. Our impression is that the authorities are doing a good job now of getting the word out, and post will seek opportunities in coming days to get a better sense of how effective the authorities' efforts are at the local level.
7. As discussed during Ambassador's consultations in Washington, post strongly urges the dispatch as soon as possible to Turkey and other countries in the region (e.g., the Caucasus) of an interagency and multi-disciplinary team to assess the operational effectiveness of Turkish and international work on the AI issue here, identify gaps and lessons learned, and make recommendations on possible bilateral assistance, technical assistance or other support in Turkey, as well as in the Caucasus countries.