Egyptian woman dies of bird flu, becoming the country's seventh such victim

A woman has died from bird flu, bringing to seven the number of Egyptians killed by the disease, the semi-official Middle East News Agency has reported.

Hannan Aboul Magd, 39, died Monday in a Cairo hospital where she had been receiving treatment since Oct. 4, MENA quoted Health Ministry spokesman Abdul-Rahman Shahin as saying.

Magd contracted the lethal H5N1 virus while slaughtering and cleaning chickens at her home in Gharbiya province, north of Cairo, the agency said.

Egypt's previous six fatalities were also females. In Egypt, women and young girls tend to look after chickens and turkeys kept in the backyard, making them more vulnerable to avian flu.

Sixteen Egyptians are known to have contracted avian flu, including Magd. Nine have recovered from the disease, reports AP.

Bird flu was first detected in Egypt in February and has spread to 19 of the country's 26 provinces. Egypt lies on a migratory route for wild birds.

The discovery of avian flu in the Middle East has led to widespread culling of birds. Egypt, Iraq and Turkey are the only countries in the region to have suffered human fatalities.

The H5N1 strain has hit 45 countries and killed more than a hundred people worldwide.

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