The Egyptian authorities did well by going public with the first death suspected of bird flu infection. A 30-year-old native of Qaliubia province, had died of the fatal H5N1 strain of the virus.

The villager had apparently contracted the disease from her domestically reared fowl. She had been in a close contact with the birds despite a stern warning from the health authorities against domestic poultry farms.

On Sunday, authorities reported a second suspected human case of bird flu. The victim is a man, who was admitted to hospital on Thursday after suffering symptoms of the disease, and has since recovered. Further tests are being carried out overseas to confirm the virus in both cases.

This open and straightforward approach on the part of the authorities is bound to help bring the virus under control and protect humans from infections. A very important thing uncovered by the first death is that more efforts need to be exerted in order to educate the public about preventive measures. The woman had reportedly kept her infected hens for fear of having them culled by vets. They were apparently a source of subsistence to her. She ended up catching the deadly virus. A lesson should be made from this case in order to stave off more deaths.

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