Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Iraq and Middle East News Update

Bird Flu Inspections Complete in Iraq

February 13, 2006

According to The Associated Press – “A team of U.N. health experts left Iraq on Monday after completing an inspection of areas in northern Iraq where the country's only confirmed bird flu case in a human was found. Health authorities believe one other suspect case, the dead uncle of the 15-year-old girl confirmed as having the deadly H5N1 strain, may also have contracted the disease, but final tissue sample results have not yet been obtained.”

About nine other people have been hospitalized with bird flu-like symptoms, but tests have not yet confirmed they carry the disease.

Click here to read the full story

Facts about Bird Flu from the World Health Organization

According to WHO:
Only four viruses cause the infection in humans:


In general, human infection with these viruses has resulted in mild symptoms and very little severe illness. H5N1 virus is the exception, and is highly pathogenic.

Of all influenza viruses that circulate in birds, the H5N1 virus is of greatest present concern for human health for two main reasons.
First, the H5N1 virus has caused by far the greatest number of human cases of very severe disease and the greatest number of deaths.
A second implication for human health, of far greater concern, is the risk that the H5N1 virus – if given enough opportunities – will develop the characteristics it needs to start influenza pandemic. The virus has met all prerequisites for the start of a pandemic save one: an ability to spread efficiently and sustain ably among humans. While H5N1 is presently the virus of greatest concern, the possibility that other avian influenza viruses, known to infect humans, might cause a pandemic cannot be ruled out.

Incubation and Symptoms

The incubation period for H5N1 avian influenza may be longer than that for normal seasonal influenza, which is around 2 to 3 days. Current data for H5N1 infection indicate an incubation period ranging from 2 to 8 days and possibly as long as 17 days. However, the possibility of multiple exposures to the virus makes it difficult to define the incubation period precisely. WHO currently recommends that an incubation period of 7 days be used for field investigations and the monitoring of patient contacts.
Initial symptoms include a high fever, usually with a temperature higher than 38oC, and influenza-like symptoms. Diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, chest pain, and bleeding from the nose and gums have also been reported as early symptoms in some patients. Watery diarrhea without blood appears to be more common in H5N1 avian influenza than in normal seasonal influenza. The spectrum of clinical symptoms may, however, be broader, and not all confirmed patients have presented with respiratory symptoms.

Click here to read more facts from WHO on bird flu.

‘Women’s Rights Is a Key to Solving Social Problems’

February 13, 2006

Arab News reported yesterday on a women’s conference in Saudi Arabia, the Seventh Jeddah Economic Forum. Speaker Cherie Booth, also known as Cherie Blair, a lawyer and member of the Queen Council, addressed issues of human rights and women’s development.
“Women’s rights is a key to solving social problems,” Booth told conference participants.
According to Arab News:
“Consistent with the forum’s theme of honoring identity and celebrating common grounds, she said that these rights are not a Western concept that is being forced on other cultures as some think. Instead, she said, these rights are shared by all religions, including Islam, which has given women a special status. She spoke highly of the recent meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference in Makkah and the declaration made putting reform and development as a priority and its inclusion of women in that plan.”

Click here to read the full story.


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