An Egyptian woman has died of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu virus on Monday, bringing to two the number of human bird flu fatalities so far in the populous north African country, a Health Ministry official said.
The 30-year-old woman, identified as Fatma Mohamed Youssef Sabri, was the third confirmed human bird flu case announced by the Egyptian Health Ministry last Monday.
The victim was from Qalyoubia, a governorate of some 40 km north of Cairo. She had raised poultry inside her house and had personally culled the birds 15 days before she was admitted to hospital after developing symptoms of bird flu.
Egypt confirmed on March 18 the first human case of the disease.
A woman who had been raising chickens at home died of H5N1 bird flu virus.
Up till now, at least five cases of human bird flu infection have been announced in Egypt. Another two patients have already recovered and the fifth one was still under treatment in hospital.
Egypt reported the first case of the H5N1 strain of bird flu in dead poultry on Feb. 17 and the government has since taken tough measures to curb the spread of the disease.
The deadly H5N1 strain has killed over 100 people worldwide since its outbreak in southeast Asia in 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.