The Turkish authorities have stepped up efforts to control an outbreak of the H5-N1 bird flu virus which they say has infected fourteen people.

Turkish television has begun broadcasting public health information, and leaflets in both Turkish and Kurdish have been distributed in the eastern region where the outbreak began.

World Health Organisation experts are in Turkey to investigate the outbreak.

The head of the WHO mission, Guenael Rodier, has said it is possible there will be further outbreaks among families in rural areas.

The organisation has said there are no signs that the bird flu virus spreading in Turkey is being passed among humans.

Turkish authorities say 14 people have tested positive for the virus and that three children from the same family have died.

The WHO has only confirmed four cases, saying the other instances have not yet been verified by laboratory tests.

23 people in Istanbul are in hospital exhibiting flu-like symptoms but their conditions have not yet been confirmed. Testing of samples is under way in London.

Istanbul, a city of some 12 million people, would be the westernmost point where the virus has been found since it resurfaced in Turkey last month.

The EU has announced new import bans on six countries surrounding Turkey and has confirmed that EU experts were accompanying the WHO team assessing the situation in the region.