First Iraqi case of Avian Flu reported

Monday, January 30, 2006

The first case of Avian Flu in Iraq was announced today by the country's Health Minister, Abdel Mutalib Mohammed. The preliminary result was reportedly from a United States military laboratory in Cairo; the World Health Organisation are expected to seek confirmation of this from a UK laboratory.

The victim was Shangen Abdul Qader, a 15-year-old girl from the northern Kurdish village of Raniya. Her suspected H5N1 infection killed her on January 17. The death of the girl's uncle is also believed to be under investigation due to him having symptoms that may indicate flu.

The area of Iraq where the suspected deaths occurred borders Turkey where there have been 12 confirmed cases of which four resulted in death. Turkey's last reported victim, Fatma Ozcan, was also aged 15.