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Egyptian Woman Dies Of Bird Flu; 11th Death In Country January 20, 2007

Posted by notapundit in World News.
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CAIRO(AP)–A 27-year-old Egyptian woman has died of bird flu, the country’s 11th death from the avian flu strain, the state-run news agency reported.

The woman, identified as housewife Warda Eid Ahmed from Beni Suef, about 90 kilometers south of Cairo, had tested positive for H5N1 strain.

She was admitted to hospital a week ago, health ministry official Abdel Rahman Chahine told the Middle East News Agency on Friday.

The report didn’t say how Ahmed contracted the virus. Most people get it through contact with infected birds which they raise at home, or while slaughtering or cleaning chicken.

Nineteen people have been infected with the deadly H5N1 strain in Egypt so far. Of the 11 deaths, 10 were women. In Egypt, women and girls tend to look after chickens and turkeys kept in backyards, making them more vulnerable to avian flu.

The eight other people infected with the virus have recovered, MENA said.

Bird flu was first detected in Egypt in February 2006 and has spread to at least 19 of the country’s 26 provinces. The discovery of avian flu in the Middle East has led to widespread culling of birds.

The H5N1 strain has hit at least 45 countries and killed more than 150 people worldwide.

The World Health Organization reported on Thursday that mutations in the virus have been found in two fatalities in Egypt, in a form that might be resistant to Tamiflu, a drug also known as oseltamivir most commonly used to treat the disease.

WHO said the mutations weren’t drastic enough to spark a pandemic but more such mutations could prompt scientists to rethink current treatment strategies.

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