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10th Egyptian dies of H5N1 bird flu: Health Ministry

Bird Flu

Cairo: A five-year-old boy died from bird flu in southern Egypt, the 10th death from the virus in the country, officials said.

“The boy’s health was in a critical condition when (he) was taken to the hospital and he did not respond to the treatment. This year, 22 people were infected with bird flu in different parts of Egypt,” said a statement issued by the Egyptian Health Ministry.

The boy’s mother said her son used to play with birds.

Out of the 12 surviving infected patients, eight have been discharged and four others are still sick in hospital.

The H5N1 (Avian Flu), one of several deadly strains of bird flu, has killed more than 400 people worldwide since first appearing in 2003, mainly in Southeast Asia.

The WHO has warned 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.

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

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), from 2003 to October 2, 2014, 668 laboratory-confirmed human cases of H5N1 infection have been officially reported by 16 countries. Of these cases, 393 have died.

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