Egypt faces grim bird flu situation 2006-12-29 06:25:45

Photo taken on Nov. 11, 2006 shows a pultry vendor at a marketplace in Cairo. (Xinhua Photo)

Photo taken on Nov. 11, 2006 shows a pultry vendor at a marketplace in Cairo. (Xinhua Photo)
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    CAIRO, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- Egypt witnessed three human bird flu death cases in only four days, the death toll of the human bird flu cases in the country rose to 10 and aroused some worries about spreading of the deadly disease.

    Reda Abdel Halim Farid, a 26-year-old man from a big family living in the Egyptian Delta governorate of Gharbiya, some 90 km north of Cairo, died of the deadly H5N1 virus on Wednesday, became the third casualty in a week after another two members of the family, a 30-year-old woman and a 15-year-old girl, who died on Sunday and Monday respectively.

    On the current bird flu situation in Egypt, Egyptian Health Ministry spokesman Abdel Rahman Shahine told Xinhua that the situation seems to be dangerous but it is under control, specially as people start to recognize how dangerous the virus is and directly inform the authorities of any suspected cases.

    "H5N1 is a serious threat in Egypt and we set up a plan to take measures in cooperation with other ministries to deal with this problem," Shahine said.

    He added that Egypt is cooperating with the World Health Organization and the EU among others to provide some vaccines to face the disease.

    For his part, Egyptian Ministry of Environment senior official Ahmed el-Emary said that there would be serious problems during next March, the birds immigration season, when hundreds of birds come from the EU through Egypt on their way to Africa.

    As for measures taken by the Egyptian government to deal with the grim situation, Egyptian cabinet spokesman Magdi Radi said that the country has designed a comprehensive plan in order to face the issue and a big number of Tamiflu, a kind of medicine against the bird flu disease, have already been imported.

    Meanwhile, Radi asked people to stop buying alive birds to eat, recommending that it is better to change their habits and buy slaughtered birds which have been done under the supervision of the authorities.

    The first bird flu case in Egypt was found in dead poultry on Feb. 17, 2006 and then the virus spread to 20 of the country's 26governorates, with the first human bird flu case in the Arab country reported on March 18, 2006.

    Since then, a total of 18 reported human bird flu cases have been reported, among which 8 persons were cured.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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