"Dec. 26 -- Bird flu killed a woman in northern Egypt as authorities attempt to eradicate the lethal virus that infected two other members of the woman's family. The infection killed a teenage girl in Cairo, Agence France-Presse reported.
The woman from Zifta, in the northern province of Gharbia, had been in contact with infected poultry, Egypt's Ministry of Health said in a statement on its Web site today. Fowl kept by the family and neighbors have been culled, and people in contact with the birds are being tested, the ministry said in a separate statement on Dec. 24.
A 15-year-old girl died from the H5N1 strain of avian flu in a Cairo hospital, AFP reported yesterday. She was transferred from a hospital in the Nile delta province of Garbiya, where she was admitted Dec. 20, AFP said.
World health experts are trying to control the H5N1 virus, which risks infecting humans and mutating to become more contagious. A virus that spreads among people as easily as seasonal flu could spark a deadly pandemic capable of killing millions of people, health authorities have said.
The H5N1 strain is known to have infected 258 people in 10 countries during the past three years, killing 154 of them, the World Health Organization said on Nov. 29, when it reported the last fatality.
Avian flu has infected 19 people in Egypt -- including the four cases recorded during the past week -- killing nine of them. Infections in Egyptian poultry were reported for the first time in February.
All of the nine fatalities in Egypt have been female, suggesting women are more at risk of avian flu than men, the United Nations' Integrated Regional Information Network reported yesterday."
It seems more likely that it the sexual disparity is due to women being more likely to handle the families dead poultry than men. At least here in the states I know that chicken slaughter is usually done by the female head of the household.
I must confess, however, I don't know much about gender roles in domestic animal slaughter in Egypt.