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2nd Turkish teenager dies of bird flu, H5N1 strain detected

A teenager in Turkey whose brother died of bird flu Sunday succumbed also to the disease Thursday, and samples from the brother have initially tested positive for H5N1 strain of virus, the Associated Press reported.

If confirmed, the report said, the 14-year-old boy and his 15-year-old sister would be the first human cases of the H5N1 strain in Turkey. More than 70 people have been killed by the disease in East Asia since 2003.

Guenael Rodier, a special adviser on communicable diseases at the World Health Organization’s European headquarters in Copenhagen, was quoted as saying the samples from the brother had been tested by two Turkish laboratories and “turned out to be positive.”

The specimens are reportedly now on their way to centers in Britain for confirmation.

The siblings from the eastern town of Dogubayazit, close to Turkey’s border with Iran, were hospitalized last week after developing high fevers, coughing and bleeding in their throats, the report said.

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