Iraq government: current bird flu outbreak harmless, no deaths

bird flu (representational photo)

Baghdad (  The Iraqi government has denied recording deaths from a current bird flu outbreak, stressing that the virus has become under its control at all provinces.

Almaalomah website quoted Mahdi al-Qaisi, an undersecretary of the agriculture ministry, saying Tuesday that the current virus strain is H5N8, which, he said, “is harmless to humans, yet deadly to animals if expanding”.

He said ministry teams have eliminated all birds and eggs in Diyala, where most of the reported cases have been detected, and imposed a 90-day embargo on bird and egg trade at infected areas.

“Rumors about deaths from the disease in Mosul are untrue,” he said, assuring that chickens available in the market are safe from the virus.

Last Tuesday, NRT quoted a medical source in Mosul saying that al-Salam Educational Hospital in the eastern region recorded three deaths with the disease, while the fourth case was recorded at al-Shifa Hospital in the western region of the city.

Earlier this month, Iraqi agriculture minister Falah Hassan declared that a poultry farm caught the infection in Babil province, days after another infection focus in Diyala province was brought under control.

The Paris-based World Organisation for Animal Health confirmed the reporting about Diyala, saying that the infection killed 7250 out of 43000 birds.



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