Egyptian 4-year-old tests positive for bird flu

 
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CAIRO, Mar 11 (Reuters) A 4-year-old Egyptian boy has contracted the deadly bird flu virus, bringing to 24 the number of Egyptians who have tested positive for the disease, health ministry and World Health Organisation officials said today.

A health ministry official said the boy had contracted the H5N1 bird flu virus after coming into contact with infected household birds. He was in ''good condition,'' the official said.

A World Health Organisation official confirmed the case but gave no details.

Egypt has the largest bird flu cluster outside Asia, with 13 deaths out of the 24 reported human cases.

Most of those infected in Egypt had contact with live birds kept at home. Bird flu initially caused panic across Egypt and did extensive damage to the poultry industry, although the sector has since largely recovered.

REUTERS SP VC1745

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