CAIRO,(Reuters) – An Egyptian woman died of bird flu on Monday, bringing the total number of human deaths in Egypt to seven, the state news agency MENA said.
The victim was a woman from the Nile Delta town of Samanoud who had slaughtered and handled domestic poultry, it said. It was the first human death in Egypt from the virus since May.
The agency had earlier identified the woman as 39-year-old Hanan Aboul Magd, who was admitted to hospital with a high temperature and respiratory trouble on Oct. 4. She moved to a specialist hospital in Cairo on Oct. 12 and was receiving Tamiflu, the standard treatment for the deadly virus, MENA said.
It said people with whom she was in contact have tested negative for the H5N1 virus, which first appeared in Egypt in February and caused great damage to the poultry industry.
With 15 infections, Egypt has had the largest cluster of human bird flu cases outside Asia, and the latest case came a month after authorities found a cluster of new cases in birds following a two-month lull in detected poultry cases.
The initial bird flu outbreak caused panic in Egypt, where poultry is a major source of protein and where poor families frequently breed chicken domestically in cities and rural areas to supplement their diet and income.
MENA said Aboul Magd had raised a flock of 11 ducks from her home north of the Egyptian capital. Two became sick and died, and she then slaughtered the rest before she was hospitalised.
Egypt’s commercial poultry industry has started to recover from the disease and the vast majority of commercial flocks have been vaccinated, but only about 20 percent of domestic birds had received vaccines, officials say.