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Iraq bans poultry imports from 24 countries
Chickens are seen at a poultry farm in Arbil, about 350 km (220 miles) north of Baghdad February 1, 2006. Officials in northern Iraq said on Tuesday they were treating 12 patients suspected of having bird flu as a World Health Organization (WHO) team prepared to travel to the area to give urgent assistance. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari - RTR15RL8

Iraq bans poultry imports from 24 countries

BAGHDAD: Iraq has extended a ban on imports of frozen and live poultry products to cover two dozen countries, including China and South Africa, the government said.
Baghdad last month restricted poultry imports from France, where an outbreak of avian flu has been reported.
The agriculture ministry could not be contacted for immediate comment, but a ministry spokesman previously said that the ban on French poultry was because of avian flu.
The affected exporters are Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Bhutan, China, Egypt, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, Laos, Libya, Myanmar, Mexico, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Palestine, South Africa, South Korea and Vietnam.
Highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu first infected humans in 1997 during a poultry outbreak in Hong Kong. Since its re-emergence in 2003 and 2004, H5N1 has spread from Asia to Europe and Africa, causing millions of poultry infections, several hundred human cases and many human deaths.