WHO says reports of suspected Ebola cases in Iraq are untrue

LONDON (REUTERS) - No suspected cases of Ebola have been found in Iraq, despite reports to the contrary in Iraqi media in the past week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday.

Describing reports of suspect cases of the deadly viral infection in Mosul as "rumour", the Geneva-based United Nations health agency said it and the Iraqi health ministry had conducted a full investigation. "All sources contacted have negated the existence of any suspected cases of Ebola," the WHO said in a statement.

"The (Iraqi) Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation further confirmed that the laboratory facilities in Mosul do not have the necessary capabilities to diagnose and confirm the Ebola virus."

Reports of suspected Ebola cases appeared on Dec 31 in Iraq's Al-Sabah newspaper, Rudaw online newspaper and on the Shafaq news agency and were relayed through other media in and outside Iraq, prompting the WHO and Iraqi authorities to investigate.

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