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Uncle of Supected H5N1 Fatality in Iraq Also Dies
January 28, 2006
A man showing symptoms of bird flu died in Iraqi Kurdistan and his samples have been sent to Jordan for testing.
Hamma Sour Abdullah, 40, died Friday in Sulaimaniyah. He was the uncle of a 14-year-old girl, who also died flu-like symptoms
He said Abdullah died after suffering for a few days from a pulmonary infection
The above description creates a familial cluster with a bimodal distribution of disease onset dates, indicating the uncle was infected by his niece. Both had bird flu symptoms and the niece's physician indicated her symptoms matched those of confirmed cases in Turkey. Although WHO "discounted" the earlier case, they gave no details on why the case was discounted. The second case in the family strongly suggests the WHO discount was incorrect.
Recently, all initial confirmed human cases first reported are family clusters. This has been true for Cambodia, Indonesia, China, and Turkey. These cases initially test negative or are not tested, but the familial cluster forces additional testing which turns positive in one or more family members. Iraq will likely follow the same pattern of prior admissions by the countries listed above,
H5N1 testing remains scandalously poor. H5N1 confirmation in humans enters its third year, yet countries continue to report fase negatives and WHO does little to correct the situation. The WHO "discount" of the 14 year-old appears to be more of the same, as the H5N1 cases continue to be excluded by negative results by unreliable tests.
The clinical presentation of cases is much more reliable, and such presentations would indicate Iraq has a familial cluster of H2H transmission, as reported in Turkey. Turkey continues to report H5N1 outbreaks on farms, although they have halted reports of new H5N1 cases in humans. Cases are being admitted and treated as H5N1 cases, but not reported as confirmed cases. Neighbors of Turkey are taking the same approach for suspected H5N1 in birds, The birds are culled, but no H5N1 reports are made.
WHO, US, and EU send in representatives to assess and assist, but the reporting has no credibility. H5N1 is widespread in the Middle East, yet only Turkey has reported confirmed cases.
H5N1 continues to spread and government agencies issue press releases that are clearly false.