Child dies of bird flu in Egypt’s first H5N1 death of year

World Today

A four-year-old child has become the first person to die of bird flu in Egypt this year. A total of 12 people died of the virus in 2014. While some have criticized the country’s poor health care services, the government said that it has lower death rates than many other countries. CCTV’s Adel El-Mahrouky reported this story form Cairo.

Since the government announced the death of the child on Jan. 1, three new cases have been discovered and the patients are currently undergoing treatment.

Child dies of bird flu in Egypt’s first H5N1 death of year

A four-year-old child has become the first person to die of bird flu in Egypt this year. A total of 12 people died of the virus in 2014. While some have criticized the country’s poor health care services, the government said that it has lower death rates than many other countries. CCTV’s Adel EL Mahrouky reported this story form Cairo.

Many Egyptians raise birds in their homes and avian flu cases often stem from improper handling of birds. Many of the cases of the flu are also from poor rural areas. Since the first outbreak of the virus in Egypt in 2006, the government has continuously tried to limit breeding and the slaughtering of birds at homes in rural areas.

It has also worked to educate people on proper breeding methods to limit infections and it has supplied local clinics with antiviral medications.

Despite these efforts, there were 29 cases of avian flu last year, and only 13 have been completely cured, while four patients are still hospitalized.

The government said that despite criticism of its health care system, it does a better job than many other countries.

“The international records say, according to the WHO, that the death rates because of the avian flu is more than 60 percent, so in Egypt we have a percentage of 40 something, so we still have the lower death rate percentage all over the world,” said Egypt’s health ministry spokesman Hossam Abdel Ghaffar.