Middle East

Bird flu: Egyptian woman dies of H5N1 virus

Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of a H5 strain of influenza virus type A. Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption There have been seven cases of bird flu in Egypt in 2014

An Egyptian woman has died after coming into contact with birds infected with the H5N1 avian influenza virus.

The 19-year-old woman died in hospital in the region of Assiut in the south of the country.

It was the second death in Egypt this year out of a total of seven confirmed cases, said Egyptian health officials.

It comes after several cases of birds infected with different types of the virus were discovered in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.

There have been 667 cases of H5N1 worldwide since 2003, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Egypt's health ministry said two other people were infected, according to Reuters news agency.

One of them was a three-year-old child who was recovering well in hospital and the other was a 30-year-old woman, the news agency added.

Health ministry official Amr Kandil said the first death from H5N1 in Egypt this year had happened in June.

H5N1 was first seen in a human patient in Hong Kong in 1993 but has since spread worldwide.

It has a death rate of about 60% in humans.

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