Another bird flu death in Egypt - death toll now 22

Officials in Egypt have reported another death in the country from bird flu.

This latest death brings the country's death toll from the deadly virus to 22 and makes Egypt the worst hit country outside of Asia.

This current outbreak comes six-month after the last one in December and has occurred in the Cairo suburb of Matareya and is the 49th case of the disease among humans in Egypt.

The ministry of health says the woman, 30 year old Wala Ahmed Abdel Galil, became ill on April 2nd; she had been in contact with with sick birds before she was stricken and apparently did not respond to the anti-viral treatment Tamiflu.

She is the second Egyptian to have died this month, on April 5th a 19-year-old boy died from the H5N1 virus after handling sick and dead birds.

The disease which has spread across from East Asia has hit Egypt especially hard because the country lies in the path of migrating birds.

The virus first appeared in Egypt in February 2006, and is as a rule is less active in summer.

The Egyptian government says despite a large-scale poultry vaccination programme it is unlikely the disease can be eradicated because millions in the country depend on poultry as a main source of food and income and backyard poultry is a common feature.

According to the World Health Organisation more than 230 people worldwide have died from bird flu since 2003 and outbreaks have been reported in a number of African and Asian countries.


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