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Home >> World
UPDATED: 07:54, March 22, 2006
Egypt reports 4th suspected human bird flu case
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Egyptian Health Minister Hatem el- Gabali said on Tuesday that a fourth suspected human bird flu case was reported in the governorate of Gharbiyah in the Nile Delta near Qalyoubiya where three other cases had been discovered.

The official MENA news agency quoted el-Gabali as saying that Mohamed Mahmoud Abdel-Ghani Ghobashi, 17, showed symptoms of bird flu and that he had worked on his father's poultry farm where 2, 825 out of 4,000 birds died on March 18 and 19.

The latest report has brought to four the total number of suspected human bird flu cases in the populous north African country in less than a week.

On Friday, a woman who had reportedly been raising chickens at home died of avian virus.

On Sunday, Egypt announced its second human case, a 30-year-old man who worked on a chicken farm.

On Monday, el-Gabali said that a 30-year-old woman had been infected with the deadly disease. The woman also raised chickens and had slaughtered some of them half a month ago.

Egypt reported its first case of the H5N1 strain of bird flu among wild birds and poultry on Feb. 17 and the government has since launched an aggressive campaign to bring the spread of the disease under control.

The deadly H5N1 strain has killed about 100 people worldwide since late 2003, according to the World Health Organization.

Most victims were infected after close contact with sick birds.

The virus currently can only jump from birds to humans, but scientists fear that it could mutate into a form capable of passing easily among humans and thus spark a global human flu pandemic which might kill millions.

Source: Xinhua

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