Turkey's Health Ministry Denies Media Reports on Coxsackievirus Epidemic

© Sputnik / Vladimir Vyatkin / Go to the mediabankRussian tourists in Antalya
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Turkey's Health Ministry said on Wednesday "there can be no talk of any epidemic" in the wake of reports about the spread of Coxsackievirus in the country's resorts.

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ANKARA (Sputnik) — The Turkish Health Ministry issued a statement on Wednesday denying media reports about the epidemic of Coxsackievirus in the country.

According to the statement, the ministry has studied the issue at the request of Russia's RIA Novosti news agency. The ministry said its representatives in Antalya had conducted an investigation and detected cases of skin rash among seven Ukrainian tourists.

"Our ministry believes that such cases can occur in any country. According to the results of our investigation, there can be no talk of any epidemic. We estimate the spread of news about it in Russian social networks and media as speculative, and we want to reassure you through RIA Novosti that Russian tourists can safely go to Turkey on vacation," the statement said.

Media have reported that the number of tourists infected with Coxsackievirus (an enterovirus infection) is growing in Turkey, with dozens of tourists allegedly forced to interrupt their vacation ahead of schedule.

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Turkey is one of the most popular summer destinations for Russian tourists. It was earlier reported that Turkey's Antalya resorts expected to host more than 3 million Russian tourists in 2017.

Turkey faced a decrease in the number of tourists coming to its resort destinations in 2016 after the Russian government imposed ban on charter flights to Turkey and selling tour packages to the country over the downing of a Russian military aircraft by a Turkish jet in November 2015.

The situation started to change in June, 2016, when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wrote a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin in which he apologized for the downing of the Russian Su-24 attack aircraft over Syria and extended his condolences to the family of the pilot killed in the incident.

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