Monday, January 30, 2006

Bird flu in Iraq: confirming the obvious

Once again we take no pleasure in being right (see here, here and here), especially as in this case being right was pretty much a no brainer. I guess that says that those who were wrong (WHO, CP the addle-brained ProMed Moderator who is an obsessive bird flu denier, the Iraqi "government", and the US occupying authorities by their silence) weren't using their brains at all or using them for a non-medical purpose.

Today we get the report of the perfectly obvious: the 14 year old little Iraqi girl who died last week (her age is sometimes given as 15 years old) and most probably her 50 year old uncle, succumbed to bird flu, the first human cases in the Middle East outside of Turkey. And after the denials, it isn't clear how many human cases there are now:
"We call on the World Health Organisation to send experts to confirm that Kurdistan is free of bird flu," said Imad Ahmed, deputy prime minister of Sulaimaniyah in Kurdish northern Iraq.

Ahmed said 12 people had been quarantined after they fell ill with pneumonia, but could possibly be infected with the fatal H5N1 strain of bird flu which has killed at least 80 people worldwide since 2003.
Iraq's Kurdish provinces, which lie on the border with Turkey, are a major poultry producing region supplying chicken and eggs for much of the entire country. (AFP via ChannelNewsAsia)
So there you have it. The Fourth Horse of the Apolcalypse is cantering towards a war torn area with a destroyed civil infrastructure, overwhelmed medical facilities and 160,000 foreign occupiers poised to become global vectors.

What did you expect?