Viral return? 2nd Egypt bird flu death in two days

A man looks at birds displayed for sale at a market in Old Cairo.

A man looks at birds displayed for sale at a market in Old Cairo.

An Egyptian woman died of the bird flu on Tuesday, marking the second casualty the virus claimed in two days, Egypt’s al-Ahram state-owned newspaper reported.

The 30-year-old reportedly contracted the virus after coming into contact with affected birds, the Ministry of Health said in a statement quoted by the daily.

She was form the province of Minya south of Cairo, the statement added that she had sought treatment but her condition had already escalated.

She died in a hospital in the southern city of Assiut.

Separately, a 19-year-old woman died of bird flu on Monday in Assiut, Reuters news agency reported.

The ministry said there have been seven cases of the virus this year, including three who died.

The World Health Organization warns that whenever bird flu viruses are circulating in poultry, there is a risk of sporadic infections or small clusters of human cases, especially in people exposed to infected birds or contaminated environments.

Human cases of H5N1, as the virus is also known as, are rare, however, and the virus does not currently appear to transmit easily from person to person.

Egypt’s H5N1 cases have largely been found in impoverished rural areas in the south of the country, where villagers, particularly women, tend to keep and slaughter poultry in the home.


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