Egypt Reports Third Bird Flu Death This Week

by VR Sreeraman on  April 25, 2009 at 12:12 PM Bird Flu News   - G J E 4
A 33-year-old woman died from the H5N1 strain of bird flu, the third death from the disease in Egypt this week, the health ministry announced.
 Egypt Reports Third Bird Flu Death This Week
Egypt Reports Third Bird Flu Death This Week

The woman, from Kafr el-Sheikh province, was the 26th person to die in Egypt from the strain since it was first identified in the Arab world's most heavily populated country in 2006.

The woman was hospitalised on April 15 with a high fever and respiratory problems, the ministry said in a statement reported by the official news agency MENA.

It reported on Wednesday that a 25-year-old Cairo woman died from bird flu, the second victim felled by the disease this year after the death of six-year-old boy announced the previous day.

The ministry said on Thursday that a 34-year-old woman, Wafaa Abdel Hamid Abdel Jawwad from Tanta north of Cairo, has contracted the illness.

The woman, who had been in close contact with infected poultry, was treated with antiviral drug Tamiflu and is in stable condition, it said.

Her case is the 68th recorded since the outbreak of the disease in Egypt in 2006.

Most of the victims in Egypt have been young girls or women, who are generally in charge of looking after poultry in rural areas.

Health ministry spokesman Abdurrahman Shahin told AFP on Friday the situation was "worrying."

Egypt has seen an increase in bird flu cases over the past two months. The World Health Organisation (WHO) called in March for an investigation into why many of the victims have been young children.

In rural areas poultry are traditionally raised on rooftops, often in close proximity to young children.

Shahin said "children, mostly aged between one and a half and three, are hard to control. It's difficult to keep them away from the fowl, but the public awareness campaign is beginning to bear fruit among women."

The WHO estimates that the H5N1 strain of the virus has killed around 250 people since 2003, mainly in Southeast Asia.

In Vietnam on Friday, a doctor said a 23-year-old woman has died from bird flu in Thanh Hoa province, making her the country's fourth human victim of the disease this year.

Source: AFP

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