By YASEMİN GÜLPINAR
Health Minister Ali Pilli stressed that urgent measures were being taken to combat the country’s first outbreak of WNV, including draining swamps and spraying mosquito breeding sites.
WNV was first diagnosed in three people last week after blood samples were sent to Turkey for analysis. Eight more were tested and seven came back positive, leaving five being treated at Lefkoşa Hospital – three of them in intensive care – and two at Near East University Hospital.
One of last week's three original victims remains in hospital and a second has been discharged.
Hilmi Bolel, 62, a father-of-two and grandfather from Ötüken, was buried in the village cemetery last Saturday, a day after succumbing to the virus.
Speaking following diagnosis of the latest cases, Dr Pilli said a government “coordination meeting”, chaired by Prime Minister Ersin Tatar, had taken place to discuss measures for coping with the disease. In addition to himself, he said others attending the meeting had included Interior Minister Ayşegül Baybars, Health Ministry undersecretary Mustafa Akçaba, Lefkoşa State Hospital chief doctor Ail Özyılkan and a group of medical specialists.
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