A woman has died of bird flu in southern Egypt, a health official said on Wednesday, the country’s second death from the H5N1 strain of the virus in a week.
H5NI is one of several deadly or potentially deadly strains of bird flu that are closely monitored by the World Health Organization. The strain, which has killed more than 400 people worldwide since first appearing in 2003, is different from the H5N8 version, whose spread on European poultry farms in recent days has prompted calls for vigilance from the WHO.
The woman died late on Tuesday after she was admitted to hospital in the southern province of Minya in a critical condition, health ministry spokesman Hossam Abdel Ghafar said. Another woman died of bird flu in nearby Assiut province on Sunday.
So far this year, Egypt has reported a total of seven cases of H5N1 infection, three of which have been fatal. Most deaths from the strain worldwide have been in southeast Asia.
A third strain of bird flu — H7N9 — has killed more than 170 people since emerging in 2013 . The strains are named for varying subtypes of two proteins on the surface of the virus — haemagglutinin and neuraminidase— that help determine its risk to humans.