Egypt’s bird flu death toll rises to 13 in 2015: Health Ministry
Poultry farm - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: Two women from Egypt’s Delta governorates of Menoufia and Sharqia have died of H5N1 avian flu, marking the 12th and 13th deaths in the country from the disease in 2015, the Health Ministry announced Saturday.

“Three cases, including a two-year-old child from Cairo along with two men in their 40s from the delta area have also tested positive for the virus and have been hospitalized,” according to the statement.

So far, 38 bird flu cases have been diagnosed this year, including 10 cases which have recovered, 15 undergoing treatment and 13 deaths, Youm7 reported Saturday.

Most avian flu cases in Egypt have been detected in impoverished rural areas, where villagers traditionally raise poultry on the rooftops of their homes to supplement their diet.

The Health Ministry announced Thursday an “exceptional plan to combat the virus.” It has repeatedly urged citizens who deal with poultry and livestock to be cautious and take preventive measures to avoid infection. It also called on those who suffer from symptoms of the flu to head to nearest hospital within 24 hours to increase the chances of their recovery.

The disease first appeared in Egypt in 2006. The death toll of bird flu in the country reached 10 in 2014.

From 2003 until October 2014, there were 686 cases testing positive for H5N1 globally, of which 393 were fatal, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) report published in October.

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