Turkey has no reason to panic over the bird flu outbreak, a World Health Organization official said Wednesday, urging Turks anew to avoid sick or dead poultry suspected in the rapid spread of the deadly H5N1 strain.
"The worst situation is a panic situation. There is no reason to panic," Dr. Marc Danzon, WHO regional director for Europe, told reporters at a news conference with Turkish Health Minister Recep Akdag. Danzon said health officials were doing "everything that is known to maintain and manage this difficult situation."
Danzon said there were no signs that the deadly strain, which preliminary tests indicate has infected 15 Turks - including two children who have died - was being transmitted person to person.
"There is no transmission from human being to human being through a mutation that could cause a pandemic. We are not there at this point," he said. Health experts have warned of the possibility that H5N1 could mutate into a potent form easily passed between people, triggering a pandemic capable of killing millions worldwide.
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