MORE PEOPLE DIED FROM BIRD FLU IN 2006 THAN IN THREE PREVIOUS YEARS COMBINED
With the deaths of three members of the same Egyptian family from avian influenza in the past week, the 2006 bird flu toll has climbed to 79 confirmed deaths.
In 2003, four people died.
In 2004, 32 people died.
In 2005, 42 people died.
The infections and subsequent deaths still focus around children and young people, with the Egyptian deaths involving a 30 year old woman, a 15 year old girl and a 26 year old man.
For every ten people who were confirmed to be infected with the H5N1 virus this year, six of them died. However, the actual number of people infected with the virus but who didn't seek medical help may have been far higher. Some experts still believe the confirmed World Health Organisation infection and death tolls do not tell the full story of the lives claimed by the bird flu virus.
From Bloomberg :
The Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population confirmed that the H5N1 strain of avian influenza had infected the three, who belong to an extended family in Gharbiyah province, 80 kilometers (50 miles), northwest of the capital, Cairo, the World Health Organization said in a statement yesterday.
"While being transferred and cared for at the country's designated avian influenza hospital, a 30-year-old female, a 15- year-old girl and a 26-year-old male died,'' the United Nations health agency said in the statement on its Web site. The most recent death occurred yesterday, the agency said.
The patients had all been in contact with sick ducks, WHO said. Egypt has struggled to control H5N1 outbreaks in poultry, first reported in February, leading to at least 18 human cases, including 10 deaths.
The Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population is further investigating the bird flu cases and has implemented measures to protect public health, WHO said in its statement. The other family members remain healthy and have been placed under close observation, the agency said.