( dpa ) - Turkey's Agriculture Ministry on Wednesday confirmed that bird flu was the cause of death of a number of chickens in three villages in the north-west Turkey province of Sakarya, the Anadolu news agency reported.
According to a statement released by the ministry, tests confirmed that a number of chickens that had begun dying on February 1 had been killed by the bird flu virus. The statement did not say whether the strain of the virus was H5N1, a strain potentially fatal for humans.
Quarantine measures were put in place around the three villages and ministry workers had culled some 1,783 poultry.
Also on Wednesday local agriculture ministry officials announced that first tests on a number of dead poultry in the province of Koceali also found the bird flu virus. Further tests were being carried out and as a precautionary measure the village of Yenicam had been put under quarantine and a cull of poultry had begun.
In 2006 four people from eastern Turkey died from the bird flu virus after coming into contact with sick birds. The virus cannot be passed by human-to-human contact but experts fear that if it mutates the world could face an epidemic that would kill millions.