Mahalla boy, 3, contracts bird flu

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CAIRO: A three-year-old boy from north Egypt has contracted the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu in the second such case in two days, a newspaper reported on Saturday.

The boy, from the Nile Delta city of Mahalla Al-Kobra, was taken to hospital with a high fever on Friday and tested positive for the virus, the state-owned daily Al-Ahram quoted health ministry officials as saying.

The toddler, who had been in contact with infected poultry, is now being treated with Tamiflu and is in stable condition, according to the ministry.

His case brings to 71 the number of bird flu infections in Egypt. On Thursday, a four-year-old boy from the Nile Delta province of Sharqeya also tested positive for the disease.

Egypt is one of the countries most affected by bird flu, with 26 fatalities since the disease first appeared in 2006.

In rural areas poultry are traditionally raised on rooftops, often in close proximity to young children. -AFP

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