"2 dead with signs of bird flu symptoms in Iran"
(IranMania) - Two people have died in Iran showing possible symptoms of the bird flu virus, a health official in the northwestern province of Kermanshah said, quoted by the news agency ISNA.
"Four people have been hospitalised, among them a woman and her husband who have died. There are suspicions of bird flu symptoms," said the head of the university hospital in the city, reports Trend.
"Their tests have been sent to medical centers inside the country and abroad to clarify the issue," said the official, named only as Dr Izadi. "Another one of those hospitalised is in critical condition."
Iran announced in February that 135 wild swans found dead on the Caspian Sea coast had tested positive for the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of bird flu, in the first cases of the virus to be confirmed in the Islamic republic.
The outbreak came in Gilan province, further north from Kermanshah, AFP added.
If the cases are confirmed in Kermanshah, it would be the first human cases. The province of the same name borders Iraq, where at least two people have died of bird flu.
Iranian health and veterinary officials have been on high alert since January after bird flu struck neighbouring Turkey, with tens of thousands of domestic birds destroyed along the border, AFP stated.