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Bird Flu Erupts In Egypt -
Many Quarantined

By Yasmine Saleh
CAIRO -- Hospitals nationwide reportedly quarantined more human cases suspected of being infected with the H5N1 bird flu virus.
According to Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper, Damietta - where the latest Bird Flu victim Hanem Atwa Ibrahim, 50, died late on Monday Dec. 31 in a Cairo hospital - hosts the largest number of cases with five people suspected of carrying the virus, while the Upper Egyptian city of Qena came next, with two cases, followed by El-Beheira with one case.
The outbreak triggered a huge campaign, led by Egypt's Food Inspection Agency in Alexandria locate infected poultry that transfers the virus. About 1,600 infected chickens were diagnosed and culled in the process.
On Monday the Ministry of Health reported the death of a fourth bird flu case in less than a week, bringing the total of bird flu deaths in Egypt to 19 and the number of Egyptian cases overall to 43. 
Last week Menufiya resident Fardous Mohamed Hadad, 36, died at the hospital where she was admitted two days earlier suffering high fever and breathing difficulty, ministry spokesman Abdel Rahman Shahin said in a statement carried by the official Mena news agency.
On Sunday Fatma Fathi Mohammed, 25, from the Nile Delta province of Daqahliya died of the disease.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said earlier this year that countries around the world had improved in their resistance to bird flu, but the situation remains critical in Egypt and Indonesia where the risk of the H5N1 virus mutating into a major human threat remains high.
Egypt's location on major bird migration routes and the widespread practice of keeping domestic fowl near living quarters have led to its being the hardest-hit country outside Asia.
International health experts have been dispatched to Pakistan to help investigate the cause of South Asia's first human bird flu cases and determine if the virus could have been transmitted from person to person, according to a WHO official.
First Published: January 4, 2008
Patricia A. Doyle DVM, PhD 
Bus Admin, Tropical Agricultural Economics 
Univ of West Indies 
Please visit my "Emerging Diseases" message board at: 
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Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa 
Go with God and in Good Health 
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