January 5, 2015 / 1:15 PM / 6 years ago

Egyptian child dies of H5N1 bird flu, second death this year: MENA

A man walks past live chickens on the outskirts of Cairo, December 4, 2014. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

CAIRO (Reuters) - A three-year-old Egyptian child died from bird flu on Monday, the second death from the virus in the country this year and the twelfth in recent months, the health ministry said.

The child was from in the Giza governorate, outside Cairo, the ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency MENA.

Egypt’s H5N1 cases have largely been in poor rural areas in the south, where villagers tend to keep and slaughter poultry in the home.

Three other cases are currently being treated, the ministry said.

A total of 668 laboratory-confirmed human cases of H5N1 infection were reported by 16 countries from 2003 to Oct. 2, 2014, according to the World Health Organization. Of these cases, 393 have died.

The WHO has warned that whenever bird flu viruses are circulating in poultry, there is a risk of sporadic infections or small clusters of human cases, especially in people exposed to infected birds or contaminated environments.

Reporting By Omar Fahmy; Writing by Maggie Fick; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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