Egyptian woman dies of H5N1 bird flu
A woman in Egypt has died of the H5N1 bird flu virus, just one day after a six-year-old boy died of the disease. The twenty-five year old woman was the 25th person to die of the disease in Egypt.
She died in a Cairo hospital of respiratory failure. Another four-year-old boy has also contracted bird flu and is currently in hospital.
His infection brought to 67 the number of bird flu cases in humans in the most populous Arab country, which has been hit harder by bird flu than any other country outside Asia.
Egypt currently has 16 cases of diagnosed patients since the start of 2009, which is up from seven reported cases in the same time frame last year.
The H5N1 virus does not often affect people, but scientists fear that it could mutate into a human strain, which would cause a pandemic and kill millions of people.
In Egypt, 5 million households depend on poultry for food and income and if a bird has the virus, people can come into contact with it on a regular basis.
Some Egyptians could have the virus and not show any symptons, according to the World Health Organisation, and that could allow them to carry the virus overseas.