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Iran Denies Reports Of Bird Flu Deaths

(RFE/RL) May 23, 2006 – Iran's health minister today denied reports that two people in the northwestern city of Kermanshah have recently died of bird flu.

Speaking on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the World Health Organization in Geneva, Kamran Lankarani said the two victims "were reported negative for avian flu."

Western media had earlier reported that the two -- reportedly a man and a woman from the same family -- had shown symptoms of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu.

Iranian authorities in February said H5N1 had been detected in wild swans found dead on the Caspian Sea coast.

So far no one in Iran has died of bird flu.

(AFP, Reuters)