The Egyptian Health Ministry on Saturday confirmed two new human bird flu cases, which brought the number of such cases to 31 in this populous Arab nation, the official news agency MENA reported.
Egyptian Health Ministry spokesman Abdel-Rahman Shahin said Ibrahim Mahmoud Helmi, four, and Mahmoud Mohamed Shalabi, seven, were tested positive to the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus.
Helmi came from Qena, some 450 km south of Cairo, and Shalabi was from Sohag, 50 km north of Qena. Both Qena and Sohag were countryside towns along the Nile River.
The spokesman said the two infected boys were receiving the antiviral drug Tamiflu and their condition was stable, adding they contracted the virus for having direct contact with house poultry.
The two raised the total number of human bird flu cases in Egypt to 31, of which 13 died, 13 recovered, while the other five were still hospitalized, according to Shahin.
Egypt found the first bird flu case in dead poultry on Feb. 17, 2006 and then the virus spread to 20 of the country's 26 governorates. The populous Arab country reported first human bird flu case on March 18 of 2006.