US soldiers, largest swine flu-infected group in Iraq
Wed, 12 Aug 2009 13:20:48 GMT
US soldiers in Iraq have become the largest group in the country to be infected with the deadly A/H1N1 virus, which is rapidly spreading in Asian countries.
Iraqi health officials reported on Wednesday that some 67 American soldiers have been diagnosed with swine flu, adding that 23 Iraqis and six other foreigners have tested positive for the deadly virus.
"We think they have this many cases because they come through different countries to come here. They come from the United States. They come from Europe," said Iraqi deputy health minister, Amer al-Khuzai.
He went on to say that all the US troops had either been treated or were receiving the necessary medication, adding that there have been no fatalities among American forces.
Iraqi officials had previously stressed that US military provides the health ministry with weekly updates about the number of swine flu cases diagnosed in American bases in Iraq.
Reports say troops are screened for the virus before leaving the US as well as upon their arrival in Iraq in order to contain the spread of the virus.
Last week, al-Khuzai had confirmed the death of a 21-year-old Iraqi woman from the A/H1N1 virus in the city of Najaf, marking the country's first swine flu death.