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Iraqi Health Minister Confirms Kurdish Girl Died of Bird Flu


Iraq's health minister says a girl who died earlier this month in northern Iraq was a victim of the deadly H5N1 strain of the bird flu - the first known case of the disease in the country.

Abdel Mutalib Mohammed told reporters Monday that new tests of the victim's blood samples confirmed the Kurdish teenager had contracted the deadly strain.

Nearly two weeks ago, the World Health Organization said its tests for the virus were negative.

The girl died January 17th in the Kurdish city of Sulaymaniya, near the border with Turkey and Iran. The death triggered concerns that infected birds from Turkey had begun spreading the virus in Iraq.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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