Daily News  :: North Africa

'Population overshadows bird flu case' -Egypt

Published: 18-JAN-07

Cairo - Doctors in Egypt have detected a new human case of the H5N1 bird flu, the 19th in the country so far, health ministry spokesman Abdel Rahman Shaheen said.

Warda Eid Ahmed, 27, from Beni Sueif, was hospitalised on January 13 in Cairo before being diagnosed with bird flu four days later.

"The young woman is being treated with Tamiflu," said Shaheen, adding that her relatives were not infected with the highly pathogenic strain of the virus.

While Egypt is the most affected non-Asian country in the world, Shaheen said considering the size of the population there were very few cases.

"There is no reason to be worried in a country of 72 million where they eat a great deal of chicken every day," he said.

There have been a number of false alarms over new bird flu cases reported in Egypt's press over the past few days, which has also noted that the disease appears to be becoming more virulent.

Though only 10 of the 19 people affected have died, all three who contracted the disease in the past few months did not survive.

The health ministry last month launched a $10mn awareness campaign on television, radio and in newspapers. Meetings were also held in rural areas to educate the population about the risks of bird flu. Sapa-AFP

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