Young Iraqi teen death investigated as possible bird flu case

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Location of the As Sulaymānīyah province within Iraq, where the girl died

Iraq health officials are reportedly looking into the death of a teenaged girl who died near the border with Turkey, which is believed to possibly be linked to the H5N1 Asian bird flu.

The young woman lived near a resevoir used as a stopover for migratory birds traveling from Turkey. Her family kept domestic birds, some of which have been sick and died; it is unknown at this time if any of the birds were infected with H5N1.

The inquiry is being investigated, and blood samples have been sent to Jordan for further testing. Residents in the region fear the virus may have spread from Turkey, where UN official believe the strain exists in the wild fowl population.

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