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Four Dead Of Bird Flu in Azerbaijan

The Asian Development Bank's Country Director to Azerbaijan, Matthew Westfall (left) and State Veterinary Service Deputy Chief Emin Shahbazov (right) speaking to reporters in Baku earlier this month (RFE/RL) March 21, 2006 -- The World Health Organization says laboratory tests have confirmed that five people died from the H5N1 strain of bird flu in Azerbaijan.

The WHO said two other people had tested positive for bird flu since late February. One of them has recovered, while the other remained in a hospital in critical condition.

Four of those who died came from the Salyan region in the southeast of the country, while the fifth victim came from Tartar, in the west.

The WHO says 103 people have now been confirmed to have died from H5N1 worldwide since 2003. Most of the victims were in Asia, where the disease first emerged.

(compiled from agency reports)

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