Turkish scientists are able to develop a vaccine against H5N1 bird flu within two to three months if necessary funds are provided, a Turkish professor said on Wednesday.
"No one can underrate the qualified and well-educated labor force in Turkey. If necessary financial resources are provided, Turkish scientists can produce a vaccine against H5N1 avian influenza within two to three months," Professor Osman Erganis from Turkey's Selcuk University Faculty of Veterinary Medicine was quoted as telling the semi-official Anatolia news agency.
"We have the necessary infrastructure to this end. We can develop and manufacture the bird flu vaccine at our universities," Dr. Erganis said.
He warned that bird flu is a serious disease but exaggerated news reports could cause more serious consequences.
Erganis stressed that people living in regions where bird flu was detected should be hospitalized immediately after the slightest symptoms of influenza.
So far, there are 21 people infected with bird flu in Turkey, among whom four children have died since.
In an effort to stem the spread of the disease, Turkey has culled some 932,000 fowl across the country, according to the Turkish National Coordination Center for Bird Flu.
The virulent H5N1 strain of bird flu has killed over 70 people in Asia since its first outbreak in 2003.