Egypt must intensify efforts to combat avian flu, say experts
By Tamim Elyan

CAIRO: As the number of reported bird flu cases continues in Egypt, attention is directed towards the government’s efforts in controlling and eradicating the disease.

H5N1 first hit Egypt in February 2006. So far, 63 people have contracted the virus, 23 of which died and 35 were treated. Three patients are still undergoing treatment.

On Wednesday, another case was reported of a two-year-old from a village in Giza.

This week, the Ministry of Health announced that 6,337 cases were isolated for suspicion of carrying the virus. From Cairo alone 843 cases were tested but were all found negative.

The highest infected cases were found in Menufiya with seven people carrying the disease. Six cases were reported in Fayoum and Qena each; while Menya, Qaliubiya and Gharbeya reported five cases each.

Three cases were reported in each of Cairo, Aswan, Kafr El-Sheikh and Daqahleya, two cases in each of Assiut, Sohag, Beni Suef, Damietta, and Sharqeya, while Alexandria, Suez and Beheira only reported one case each.

Young victims

The disease has spread among children between the ages of one and two over the past month.

An 18-month-old child was reported to contract the H5N1 virus on March 10.

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