Viewing cable 06ROME3213
Title: AVIAN INFLUENZA: FAO PRESS CONFERENCE ON TURKEY AI

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06ROME32132006-01-17 15:34:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Rome
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS ROME 003213 
 
SIPDIS 
 
USAID FOR TROSTLE, BLANCHET AND CARROLL 
HHS FOR WSTEIGER/PBUDASHEWITZ 
FAS FOR ITP/MACKE/THOMAS, CMP/DLP/WETZEL, FAS/JDEVER, 
ICD/PETTRIE 
FAS PASS FSIS AND APHIS 
VIENNA PASS APHIS 
CAIRO PASS APHIS 
BRUSSELS PASS APHIS/FERNANDEZ 
GENEVA PASS HEALTH ATTACHE 
ROME FOR US MISSION TO FAO 
 
FROM THE U.S. MISSION TO THE UN AGENCIES IN ROME 
 
E.O. 12958:N/A 
TAGS: TBIO AMED EAID CASC SENV EAGR KPAO TU AVIAN INFLUENZA
SUBJECT:  AVIAN INFLUENZA: FAO PRESS CONFERENCE ON TURKEY AI 
ASSESSMENT 
 
REF: ROME 0087 
 
¶1.  SUMMARY:  FAO SENIOR VETERINARY OFFICIAL JUAN LUBROTH 
GAVE A PRESS BRIEFING ON MONDAY, JANUARY 16, ON HIS MISSION 
TO TURKEY TO ASSESS THE AVIAN INFLUENZA SITUATION.  THE FAO 
ASSESSMENT IS MORE OPTIMISTIC THIS WEEK COMPARED TO LAST 
WEEK WHEN FAO WARNED AI COULD BECOME ENDEMIC TO TURKEY. 
THE MAIN REASON GIVEN FOR THE MORE OPTIMISTIC OUTLOOK IS 
THE MOBILIZATION OF PROVINCIAL LEVEL RESOURCES BY THE GOT 
AND GOOD COOPERATION BETWEEN THE GOT AND INTERNATIONAL 
PARTNERS, INCLUDING FAO, OIE, WHO, AND THE EU.  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
¶2.  LUBROTH WAS IN TURKEY FROM JANUARY 10 TO JANUARY 14. 
HE REPORTED THAT THERE ARE 19 CONFIRMED OUTBREAKS OF HIGH 
PATH AI, BUT ONLY ONE HAS BEEN CONCLUSIVELY IDENTIFIED AS 
H5N1.  THE OTHER 18 ARE H5, BUT OFFICIALS ARE STILL 
AWAITING CONFIRMATION THAT THEY ARE THE N1 STRAIN. THE 
CONFIRMED HPAI OUTBREAKS ARE LOCATED IN 13 OF TURKEY'S 81 
PROVINCES.  ACCORDING TO LUBROTH, NUMEROUS OTHER OUTBREAKS 
HAVE BEEN REPORTED AND ARE CURRENTLY BEING INVESTIGATED. 
HE SAID HE WOULD NOT BE SURPRISED IF MORE H5N1 OUTBREAKS 
ARE CONFIRMED.  THERE ARE 4 INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS ON THE 
GROUND IN TURKEY NOW (EXCLUDING THE US TEAM) AND 1 EU LAB 
EXPERT IS EXPECTED TO ARRIVE THIS WEEK. 
 
¶3.  LUBROTH COMMENDED THE GOT FOR DEALING WITH THE AI 
OUTBREAK RESPONSIBLY AND MATURELY.  HE CITED IN PARTICULAR 
THE GOT'S EFFORTS WITH RESPECT TO SHARING INFORMATION, 
REPORTING TO INTERNATIONAL AUTHORITIES, WELCOMING 
FAO/OIE/EU OFFICIALS AND WORKING CLOSELY WITH WHO AND ECDC. 
 
¶4.  LAST WEEK FAO WARNED THAT THE AI VIRUS COULD BECOME 
ENDEMIC IN TURKEY.  AT THE PRESS BRIEFING LUBROTH SAID 
THERE WAS STILL TIME TO PREVENT IT FROM BECOMING ENDEMIC IF 
ADEQUATE RESOURCES CAN BE MOBILIZED TO PREVENT IT FROM 
SPREADING.  HE SAID IT IS IMPORTANT NOW TO DETERMINE HOW 
WIDESPREAD THE INFECTION IS IN TURKEY; ARE WE SEEING THE 
TIP OF THE ICEBERG OR THE WHOLE ICEBERG? 
 
¶5.  ONE OF THE MAIN REASONS FOR FAO'S INCREASED OPTIMISM IS 
THAT THE GOT IS DEDICATING MORE RESOURCES TO COMBATING AI. 
LUBROTH NOTED WITH APPROVAL THAT A MEETING OF THE GOT 
NATIONAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE, WHICH MET ON SATURDAY, 
JANUARY 14, PLACED THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNORS IN CHARGE OF 
OUTBREAK SITES.  THIS ALLOWS THE USE OF PROVINCIAL LEVEL 
RESOURCES, INCLUDING THE MILITARY AND PUBLIC WORKS 
OFFICIALS, IN COMBATING THE AI OUTBREAK. 
 
¶6.  FAO SAID IT WAS LIKELY AI IS ALREADY PRESENT IN 
NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES SUCH AS IRAN, ARMENIA AND GEORGIA AND 
ENCOURAGED INCREASED SURVEILLANCE IN THOSE COUNTRIES. 
JOINT FAO/WHO MISSIONS ARE BEING ORGANIZED TO THE CAUCUSES 
REGION AS EARLY AS THIS WEEK.  FAO SAID SYRIA AND COUNTRIES 
ALONG THE DANUBE BORDER ARE ALSO AT RISK.  FAO ALSO CALLED 
FOR INCREASED SURVEILLANCE FOR IMPORTS OF CONTRABAND AT 
EUROPEAN AIRPORTS. 
 
Hall