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Bird Flu Confirmed Near Irbil Iraq
October 28, 2005
Veterinary authorities in Erbil have confirmed the first case of avian flu in Iraqi Kurdistan, near the border with Turkey. The head of the Erbil veterinary laboratory, Ilham Butros, told journalists that preliminary positive analysis done locally on suspect birds had been confirmed by a dedicated bird-flu testing lab in Egypt.
The above description appears to indicate H5N1 has arrived in the Middle East near Irbil. There have been many reports of dead birds, including an OIE report on over 3600 dead wild birds in northern Iran (see map), suggesting the presence of H5N1, but this is the first bird flu confirmation which would appear to be H5N1 wild bird flu.
An OIE report with more specifics on testing and sero-type would be useful.