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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 April 2006, 11:03 GMT 12:03 UK
Egypt reports new bird flu case
An Egyptian zookeeper sprays disinfectant in duck cages
Egyptian authorities are taking steps to prevent an epidemic
The authorities in Egypt have confirmed the country's 12th case of a human contracting bird flu.

An 18-year-old woman from north of Cairo, is suspected of contracting the virus after handling infected birds. She is being treated in hospital.

Officials said the woman was in a stable condition and members of her family were being tested for infection.

The H5N1 virus has killed three Egyptians - the only confirmed human deaths so far on the African continent.

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However, four West African countries have now confirmed cases of H5N1 in birds - Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Burkina Faso.

The World Health Organisation says weak health systems could be delaying the detection of human victims.

Bird flu spread

Scientific experts are meeting in Nairobi today to discuss how migratory birds are spreading bird flu around the world, and what further measures can be taken to prevent domestic fowl being infected.

The world's human death toll from bird flu passed 100 since late 2003, the WHO confirmed late in March.

The H5N1 strain of the virus cannot pass easily from one person to another but there are fears it could mutate, triggering a pandemic.

US scientists have confirmed the H5N1 virus has evolved into two genetically distinct strains, potentially increasing the risk to humans.


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