Infectious Diseases 2006

Infectious Diseases 2006

Iraq: third Avian Influenza human case

19 September, 2006

The Ministry of Health in Iraq has retrospectively confirmed the country’s third case of human infection with the H5N1 avian influenza virus. The case, a 3-year-old boy, was hospitalized in Baghdad on 15 March 2006. His illness was mild and he fully recovered.
During its outbreak, which is now considered over, Iraq faced problems in the shipment of specimens for external verification of diagnostic tests. For the retrospectively confirmed case, initial test results were inconclusive, possibly as a result of sample deterioration during shipment. Repeated testing, using different methods, was needed for diagnostic confirmation.
Iraqi officials said in March that the H5N1 virus had been found in poultry in Baghdad, but to date there had been no human case confirmed in the war-ravaged capital.
An Iraqi teenage girl and her uncle, both of whom died in January in the northern province of Sulaimaniya, were the country's first known human cases.