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BAGHDAD — Fifty-one American troops in Iraq have been diagnosed with and treated for swine flu, while another 71 soldiers remain in isolation suspected of contracting the potentially deadly virus, the U.S. military said Sunday.
The figures were released as Iraqi health officials confirmed Sunday the country's first swine flu death.
A woman in the southern holy Shiite city of Najaf died of the disease, raising fears about a possible outbreak among worshippers making pilgrimages to the revered sites.
All the 51 U.S. troops diagnosed with the flu have fully recovered, while the 71 suspect cases are in isolation, said Col. Michael D. Eisenhauer, the chief of clinical operations in Iraq.
"All personnel are screened for signs and symptoms of influenza prior to entering Iraq, in an effort to limit the spread of the H1N1 virus to this region," Eisenhauer told The Associated Press in an e-mail.
He said those who later develop a fever, sore throat or cough are tested, and put into isolation if suspected of swine flu.
It was not immediately known whether the diagnosed and suspected cases were confined to a single U.S. base, or whether they were spread across Iraq.
Anyway, you can bet troops will probably be the first to have the Swine Flu Vaccines.