Woman dies of bird flu, raising disease death toll to 15 in 2015
An epidemiological map for bird flu - Reuters

CAIRO: A 27-year-old woman died of H5N1 avian flu in Upper Egypt’s governorate of Sohag Sunday, marking the 15th death in the country from the disease in 2015, a health ministry source told Youm7.

Upon suffering from bird flu symptoms, the woman’s family transported her from  Sohag to the neighboring Governorate of Asyut where she was held in the fever hospital before she died on Sunday, said the source.

Most avian flu cases in Egypt have been detected in impoverished rural areas, where villagers are accustomed to raising poultry on the rooftops of their homes to supplement their diet, Ahmed Abdel Hamed, a former health ministry official previously told Youm7.

A health ministry’s medical team, who inspected the woman’s house in Tahta village north of Sohag, confirmed she raised poultry on the rooftop of her house. As a preventive measure, the team conducted medical checkups on those who were in contact with the woman.

According to the State Information Service (SIS), around 2 million Egyptians are directly dealing with poultry; either by working in the poultry industry or raising poultry in their houses.

In both cases, they are outside the scope of supervision by the ministries of agriculture and health.

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 people have died, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) report published in October.

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