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Saturday, January 07, 2006

Van, Turkey According To Aftonbladet

Aftonbladet is a Swedish newspaper. According to this article, they visited the hospital in Van and were told by doctors that they had 18 confirmed bird flu cases out of 56 with flu symptoms. Now at this time of year we would expect regular flu to be present, so while one can probably expect some more diagnoses of H5N1, there is no telling how many. Add the 3 dead....

Aftonbladet also reports panic and masked policemen keeping people out of the hospital, but it sounds like they are trying to prevent relatives and others from entering (literally "unauthorized"). You've got to feel sorry for the doctors and nurses in the middle of this! Aftonbladet said that ambulances were still arriving. Aftonbladet also reports suspect cases in Diyarbakir, 40 miles away. See Recombinomics for more information.

One interesting feature of this is that any newsies reporting from the area report far more cases than the standard journals. It's like reading stories of two separate incidents. However the EU says that it is H5N1. Outside resources are reporting a fourth confirmed human case, although they are still reporting the dead sister of the previous two siblings who died as negative. Wanna bet?

I guess the difference in the case count is in whether it confirmed by Turkish tests or British tests?

Disturbingly, it turns out that one of the first families with multiple cases went to the hospital on December 18th and were sent away.... This appears to be the family with the three dead children, and this fits with the Indonesia reports of time between onset and death. It's not a quick death. This does offer hope if sick people are treated quickly with amantadine or Tamiflu, antibiotics and supportive care.

Now the news emerges that there are dead birds in areas of Turkey near Iran, near Iraq and near Syria. WHO hasn't made it to Van yet.


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