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Egypt finds 13th case of human bird flu

Written by: Staff

CAIRO, May 3 (Reuters) A 27-year-old Egyptian woman is being treated in hospital for bird flu, the country's 13th human infection with the feared virus, a spokesman from the health ministry said.

The latest victim caught the disease after coming into contact with poultry kept in houses in her family's home town in Manoufiya province, outside of Cairo, spokesman Abdel Rahman Shaheen told the official MENA news agency.

The woman showed symptoms of the illness when she returned to her home in a Cairo suburb and was hospitalised on Monday, Shaheen added.

The woman, who was not named, was being treated in hospital with Tamiflu - the drug used to fight the virus in humans - and was in a stable condition, he said.

Four women have died of bird flu in Egypt since the first human infection was reported in mid-March. The H5N1 bird flu virus was first detected in Egypt in February.

Essentially an animal disease, the virus can infect people who come into close contact with infected birds. It has infected 205 people since late 2003, killing 113 of them.

There are fears the virus could mutate into a form that passes easily from person to person, sparking a pandemic in which millions could die.

Reuters DKS RN0445

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