CAIRO: A woman died in a Minya hospital Monday after being suspected of suffering from avian flu (H5N1,) raising the suspected death toll to 7, Youm7 reported.
The H5N1 avian flu virus is spread to humans from infected poultry in parts of Asia and northeast Africa, and can be fatal. Poultry farming is a major source of employment for many rural Egyptians.
Many of those infected have been those who work with chickens or are involved with slaughtering them.
The virus first appeared in Egypt in February 2006, when 14 persons were infected, and six of those cases were fatal, according to the State Information Service.
Fifteen cases have been reported in Egypt so far this year, with the largest number of cases appearing in Minya governorate.
Ministry of Health spokesperson Hossam Abdel Ghafar told The Cairo Post Monday that Upper Egyptian governorates recorded eight cases in 2014. Two patients died in Minya during the last week of November.
Abdel Ghafar said the number of infections is still within the normal infection rate in Egypt, which he said can vary every year; “sometimes we have 40, and sometimes 35.”
As part of the ministry’s plan, Abdel Ghafar said the ministry works to raise residents’ awareness of the disease, especially in areas where the virus is prone to spread, and he denied any declaration of a state of emergency.
Additional reporting by Dana el-Hadidi.