American troops serving in Iraq have another enemy to worry about. The country reported its first death attributed to bird flu. Farmers across the country are now inspecting their flocks.

The 15-year-old girl who died Jan. 24 lived in northern Iraq. Officials announced Monday that she had indeed contracted the deadly strain of H5N1 bird flu. It was the country's first human case of the deadly flu.

The girl's uncle had died earlier and a woman from the same region has been hospitalized with similar symptoms. Farmers in the area destroyed thousands of birds and a local veterinary official said farms that did not have their flocks inspected would be closed.

U.S. officials have offered assistance and a team of epidemiologists and clinicians are expected later in the week. It's especially sensitive because of the insurgents active in the area. Even if Iraq had medications, it lacks the governmental infrastructure to dispense them.

Before the Iraqi teen's death, the World Health Organization reported 85 humans had died from the flu. They suspect the Iraqi girl may have contracted the disease from a city reservoir where migratory birds from Turkey stop. At least 21 cases of the disease have been recorded in Turkey.

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