US embassy cable - 06NICOSIA76

CYPRUS: SUSPECTED CASE OF AI IN POULTRY IN NORTH

Identifier: 06NICOSIA76
Wikileaks: View 06NICOSIA76 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Nicosia
Created: 2006-01-24 11:36:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: KFLU EAGR EAID KSCA TBIO KSTH WHO AMED
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
VZCZCXYZ0006
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNC #0076 0241136
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 241136Z JAN 06
FM AMEMBASSY NICOSIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5423
INFO RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS IMMEDIATE
RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS IMMEDIATE 3465
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA IMMEDIATE 4512
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE 1112
RUEHVI/AMEMBASSY VIENNA IMMEDIATE 0398
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN IMMEDIATE 0373
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD IMMEDIATE 0421
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT IMMEDIATE 4098
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS IMMEDIATE 2029
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO IMMEDIATE 0148
UNCLAS NICOSIA 000076 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KFLU, EAGR, EAID, KSCA, TBIO, KSTH, WHO, AMED, 
PREL, CY 
SUBJECT: CYPRUS: SUSPECTED CASE OF AI IN POULTRY IN NORTH 
 
REFS: (A) NICOSIA 74 (B) NICOSIA 50 (C) NICOSIA 34 (D) 05 
 
NICOSIA 1914 (E) 05 NICOSIA 1866 (F) 05 NICOSIA 1836 (G) 
05 NICOSIA 1740 (H) 05 NICOSIA 1676 (I) 05 NICOSIA 1591 
(J) 05 NICOSIA 1488 
 
1. (SBU) The Turkish Cypriot "Chief Veterinary Officer" 
Ersan Korudag confirmed to us that two birds (a chicken 
and a turkey) had tested positive for an A type influenza 
late January 23.  Turkish Cypriot laboratories lack the 
ability to test for subtypes of AI, thus Turkish Cypriot 
authorities have been unable to immediately confirm 
whether the birds had died of H5N1 or a different strain. 
Samples had been sent to Turkey and the UK (Weybridge) 
for further testing.  Korudag would not speculate when 
they would have the results of these tests.  UNDP 
environment officer Nic Jarraud, however, told us he 
expects the results of the tests to be ready on Friday, 
January 27. 
 
2. (SBU) The two birds were discovered in the small 
village of Incirili (Maykrasykas in Greek) in Eastern 
Cyprus and just north of the UK Sovereign Base Area (SBA) 
of Dekelia.  Korudag told us they had closed off access 
to the village last night and would complete by noon 
today (January 24) culling all the poultry within a three 
kilometer radius.  The job was made easier as no other 
villages fall within the 3 km zone and only one road runs 
through Incirili.  The UK military has also increased 
surveillance for dead birds within the UK SBA and is 
receiving assistance from Greek Cypriot veterinary 
authorities.  According to the "Under Secretary" of the 
Turkish Cypriot health ministry, Greek Cypriot press 
reports of positive tests in two other Turkish Cypriot 
villages were unfounded.  The "Under Secretary" reported 
no suspicious cases in humans. 
 
3. (SBU) The USAID-funded, UNDP-administered ACT program 
has invited veterinary health experts from both the 
Turkish Cypriot community and the GoC to emergency 
consultations either later today or tomorrow to encourage 
further cooperation between the two communities. 
 
4. (SBU) According to Jarraud, while it is not yet known 
whether the birds died of H5N1 or another less virulent 
strain of AI such as H7, the viruses are transmitted the 
same way.  Either the poultry was exposed to infected 
birds from abroad or was allowed to interact with 
migratory birds.  Either way suggests that there has been 
a breakdown in Turkish Cypriot precautions.   The 
discovery will increase pressure in the south on the GoC 
to ban all travel to the area administered by the Turkish 
Cypriots and to close the checkpoints.  Post will 
continue to monitor the situation. 
 
 
SCHLICHER 

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