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Last Updated: Friday, 3 March 2006, 09:57 GMT
Iraqi dies of suspected bird flu
Iraq
A woman suspected of being infected with the H5N1 strain of bird flu has died in the southern Iraq province of Nasiriya, health officials said.

Additional tests are being carried out at laboratories in Baghdad and the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

Officials also said possible cases of bird flu had been found in poultry in Diyala province, north of Baghdad.

There have been two confirmed human deaths from bird flu in Iraq so far - both in the Kurdish north.

The H5N1 virus, which causes bird flu, does not pose a large-scale threat to humans as the virus has not mutated into a form that can pass easily from one person to another.

Experts, however, fear the virus could mutate to gain this ability, and in its new form trigger a flu pandemic.



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