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  Friday, November 15, 2019
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Gennady Onishchenko said Monday that the border with Turkey would have to be closed if bird flu continued to spread in the country
Russia's chief sanitary doctor Gennady Onishchenko said Monday that the border with Turkey would have to be closed if bird flu continued to spread in the country. Onishchenko said in comments on the need to temporarily ban travels to Turkey on Ekho Moskvy radio: "If the situation aggravates, we will ban [travels], although in line with World Health Organization requirements." He added that it was premature to resort to the measure. Onishchenko said Russia had suggested sending experts to Turkey, but the latter had not made any response so far. Onishchenko also suggested Russia's Muslim pilgrims who had crossed Azerbaijan's border with Turkey en route to the Holy City of Mecca in Saudi Arabia would probably have to change their itinerary on their way back. Two sanitary posts have been opened on the border between Daghestan, Russia's republic in the North Caucasus, and Azerbaijan that borders on Turkey, Onishchenko said. People crossing the border are being examined for symptoms of avian flu. There are also sanitary posts on the Russian-Georgian border, he said. He cited WHO, which said nine human bird flu cases had been confirmed in the country as of January 9. Three children have already died of the disease there. "Unfortunately, the situation has tended to aggravate since January 7," Onishchenko said. "The virus has advanced to the east, and bird flu cases have been reported near Ankara already." Onishchenko said no people with H5N1 virus strain had been registered in Russia. "We lack data on human-to-human transmission of the virus," he said. He also said in January Russia was beginning to test a vaccine against the virus on a group of volunteers, but added the strain to be used in the tests was not a pandemic strain, although it could be used as a basis for a vaccine.
Print Gennady Onishchenko said Monday that the border with Turkey would have to be closed if bird flu continued to spread in the country Bookmark Gennady Onishchenko said Monday that the border with Turkey would have to be closed if bird flu continued to spread in the country

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