CAIRO, May 10 (Reuters) – A five-year-old Egyptian girl has contracted the highly pathogenic bird flu virus after coming into contact with infected birds, the state news agency MENA reported on Sunday.

The case brings to 69 the number of people confirmed to have contracted the H5N1 avian influenza virus in Egypt, which has been hit harder than any another country outside Asia.

While the avian influenza virus rarely infects people, experts say they fear it could mutate into a form people could easily pass to one another, sparking a pandemic that could kill millions.

MENA, citing the Health Ministry, said the girl from Sohag province was admitted to hospital on Saturday. It said she was being treated with the anti-viral drug Tamiflu and was in a stable condition.