US embassy cable - 06NICOSIA195

CYPRUS AI UPDATE: ISOLATED OUTRBEAK UNDER CONTROL; NO NEW REPORTS OF SUSPECTED CASES

Identifier: 06NICOSIA195
Wikileaks: View 06NICOSIA195 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Nicosia
Created: 2006-02-10 14:43:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: KFLU EAGR EAID CASC KSCA TBIO KSTH WHO
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNC #0195 0411443
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 101443Z FEB 06
FM AMEMBASSY NICOSIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5530
INFO RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS IMMEDIATE
RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS IMMEDIATE 3490
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA IMMEDIATE 4532
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE 1128
RUEHVI/AMEMBASSY VIENNA IMMEDIATE 0411
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN IMMEDIATE 0383
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD IMMEDIATE 0424
RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY BEIRUT IMMEDIATE 4105
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS IMMEDIATE 2035
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO IMMEDIATE 0156
UNCLAS NICOSIA 000195 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
SIPDIS 
 
AMMAN FOR RMO 
CAIRO FOR RMO 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KFLU, EAGR, EAID, CASC, KSCA, TBIO, KSTH, WHO, 
AMED, PREL, CY 
SUBJECT: CYPRUS AI UPDATE: ISOLATED OUTRBEAK UNDER 
CONTROL; NO NEW REPORTS OF SUSPECTED CASES 
 
REFS: (A) NICOSIA 150 (B) NICOSIA 125 (C) NICOSIA 116 (D) 
 
76 (E) NICOSIA 74 (F) NICOSIA 50 (G) NICOSIA 34 (H) 05 
NICOSIA 1914 (I) 05 NICOSIA 1866 AND PREVIOUS 
 
1. (SBU) There have been no new reports of suspected 
cases of avian influenza (AI) in either poultry or humans 
since two chickens tested positive for H5N1 on January 29 
(refs a-c).  The draft trip report (faxed to EUR/SE) of 
the EU Veterinary experts who visited Cyprus January 29- 
February 1 (ref a) concludes that: "the outbreak is of an 
isolated nature and is contained by effective measures 
implemented by the veterinary services of the northern 
part of Cyprus."  The EU experts will return February 13- 
16.  According to the GoC veterinary service, both the 
Kestrel found dead at the Embassy (ref b) and the six 
chickens found in a plastic bag in the buffer zone (ref 
a) were AI free. 
 
2. (SBU) The GoC continues to question the two positive 
tests in the north, suggesting that laboratory error is 
the only way to explain the lack of subsequent cases 
(ref. a).  While WHO and EU veterinary experts have told 
us that laboratory contamination in Turkey is a real 
possibility, there is no way to confirm or deny these 
charges.  In any case, both communities (as well as the 
UK Sovereign Base Area of Dhekalia) are acting as if the 
cases were real and continue to enforce the 10km 
surveillance zone. 
 
3. (SBU) The Minister of Health told the Ambassador 
February 10 that the GoC now has enough antiviral drugs 
(Tamiflu and Relenza) to treat 600 people.  The MoH has 
ordered extra supplies and expects this number to 
increase to 10,000 by September and 40,000 by early next 
year.  The MoH also plans to open a lab capable of AI PCR 
testing in humans in the next few months.  Currently, the 
MoH has the capability only to administer an AI rapid 
test in humans, which then must be sent to a laboratory 
in Athens for confirmation.  The GoC veterinary service 
uses the egg inculcation test. 
 
4. (SBU) On February 8, the Consular Section and the 
Regional Medical Officer hosted a well-attended and well- 
received AI Town Hall meeting for the American community 
wardens.  On February 9, the Public Affairs Section held 
a bicommunal AI DVC with a leading WHO expert.  This was 
only the second time that Greek Cypriot and Turkish 
Cypriot health experts had agreed to be in the same room. 
We will continue our outreach to the American community 
as well as our efforts to foster greater cooperation 
across the UN-patrolled Green Line. 
 
SCHLICHER 

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