31 January 2006

Bird flu adds fresh woe for Iraq

Bird flu adds fresh woe for Iraq

Monday, January 30, 2006; Posted: 8:32 p.m. EST (01:32 GMT)

RANIYA, Iraq (AP) -- Battered by rampant violence and political instability, a new threat in Iraq has been confirmed -- the first case of the deadly bird flu virus in the Middle East.

A 15-year-old Kurdish girl who died this month had the deadly H5N1 strain, Iraq and U.N. health officials said.

The discovery has prompted a large-scale slaughter of domestic birds in the northern area where the teen died as the World Health Organization formed an emergency team to try to contain the disease's spread.

"We regretfully announce that the first case of bird flu has appeared in Iraq," Iraqi Health Minister Abdel Mutalib Mohammed told reporters Monday

"My daughter did not die from bird flu," Fatima Abdullah, 50, told The Associated Press. "She did not like chickens nor had anything to do with them. She did not take care of these birds."

Let's all just hope that history does not repeat itself. The Spanish Flu, which effectively ended WWI, was thought to be transmitted by American Soldiars.

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