Health officials report outbreak of bird flu in Mosul

Ninewa- Mosul General Hospital, Photo: KirkukNow

Four suspected cases of bird flu infection have been reported in Mosul over the past 48 hours, two of whom died, while the two others receive medical care.

Jasim al-Mi’mari, head of Ninewa health directorate, speaking to KirkukNow, said, “four people were admitted to Ibn Sina hospital on Sunday, and were quarantined for suspected bird flu infection; two of them died later in the hospital, while the medical tests of the four were sent to Baghdad labs.”

The lab tests in Baghdad have revealed that one of the two patients who died in hospital was infected with bird flu virus, according to al-Mi’mari.

Bird flu, also called avian influenza, is a viral infection that can infect not only birds, but also humans. H5N1 and H7N9 are considered the most common forms of bird flu.

Bird flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat and nausea. Symptoms often progress to severe breathing problems, pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome.

The Ninewa health official indicated that the deceased patient was a 33-year-old engineer, adding that the two other patients were confirmed to have been infected by the virus.

 According to statistics by the World health Organization (WHO), since 1997 less than 500 people had died of bird flu.

“The Iraqi ministry of health will provide 20 thousand doses of vaccine against bird flu for the Ninewa health directorate,” al-Mi’mari told KirkukNow.

To prevent bird flu you wash your hands often with warm water and soap, especially before and after handling food, in particular raw poultry, use different utensils for cooked and raw meat, make sure meat is cooked until steaming hot and avoid contact with live birds and poultry.


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