Egypt has reported the 20th death attributed to the deadly H5N1 strain of avian flu, the Ministry of Health said Tuesday.
Egypt has reported the 20th death attributed to the deadly H5N1 strain of avian flu, the Ministry of Health said Tuesday
A 25-year-old woman, Suzanne Ali Salah, had been reported infected last week and was moved from her Fayoum home, located southwest of the Egyptian capital, Cairo, to Giza hospital where she had been treated with the anti-viral drug Tamiflu.
Salah is the latest victim in the North African nation to have died from the deadly avian flu since it was first discovered in March 2006, the ministry said.
Since 1 January 2008, at least five people, including Salah, have died as a result of bird flu.
The deaths followed a period of six months when no fatalities were reported.
According to the ministry, Salah’s was the 44th case of bird flu reported in humans since the outbreak.
Her family and friends have been tested for the virus and the ministry said all tests proved negative.
The North African nation, on the migratory route for a number of birds, has been the hardest hit nation outside of East Asia.
Since the disease first appeared in humans in March 2006, 20 people have died while the other 25 infected persons have recovered.
When the virus first hit Egypt, many Egyptians stopped eating chicken and other poultry products out of fear of the deadly disease, but in recent months many in the North African nation have felt the threat of bird flu had ceased to be a major concern.
“I thought this was done and we weren’t going to have to deal with this anymore,” Dalia, a young upper class woman, told Panapress.
“Until I heard about the deaths earlier this year I assumed that bird flu was no longer in Egypt,” she added. Panapress.