As many as 162 suspected cases of bird flu have been reported in Iraq's northern Kurdish region, after the death of a 15-year-old girl as a result of the disease. The region's diagnosis center has admitted the people who are suspected to have been infected with the virus. The Rania region of the north bordering Turkey is reported to have many infections.
The virus is believed to have spread from neighboring Turkey, which has seen four deaths and a number of suspected cases so far. On Jan 17, a 15-year-old villager in Rania died of the deadly flu. Two more people are reported to be under intensive care in the region as a result of the disease. The World Health Organization has announced that two suspected cases of bird flu are currently being investigated in its London laboratory.
A health official in Dahouk said that villagers spotted ashore the river more than 100 dead birds, all suspected of having been slaughtered by Turkish villagers across the border in a bid to get rid of all infected birds. The Iraqi authorities have imposed a quarantine on the villages bordering Turkey and sent in teams to slaughter fowl in certain areas. Roads into the mountainous Rania area, the site of the first flu death, have been blocked. The area comprises some 50 villages, and it is a home to 400,000 people.