Thursday, May 14, 2009


An Egyptian zookeeper sprays disinfectant in duck cages
The H5N1 strain of bird flu first appeared in Egypt in 2006

A four-year-old boy in Egypt has been diagnosed with the potentially deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu.

The Egyptian health ministry says the boy is from the Nile Delta region and has been in contact with sick poultry.

His condition is described as stable. Since bird flu in Egypt first appeared in 2006, there have been 70 cases of infection and 26 people have died.

Egypt is the country worst affected by bird flu outside of Southeast Asia, with a spate of new cases since spring.

The boy who is from Sharqiya province was taken to a local hospital suffering from high fever and flu symptoms, an official from the health ministry told the Egyptian news agency Mena.

Later he was transferred to Cairo where he tested positive for the H5N1 strain of bird flu and received anti-viral drug treatment.

Egypt has seen a surge in cases of avian flu in recent weeks. Ten new infections have been reported since the beginning of April. That is more than the total number of cases in 2008.

The World Health Organization has called for an investigation into why many of those contracting the disease had been children.

Millions of Egyptians raise poultry for their own requirements or to generate some extra income. The birds are often kept on roof tops and come into close proximity to humans.




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