Egypt announced Thursday its 36th death linked to the H5N1 virus, commonly referred to as avian or bird flu.
The 33-year-old victim, a woman from Qalyubiya, was hospitalized in Cairo Wednesday after experiencing a high fever and difficulty breathing. The Ministry of Health suspects she contracted the virus through contact with infected poultry.
The World Health Organization says Egypt ranks third globally in H5N1 documented cases. The majority of the cases in Egypt have come as the result of close contact with infected domestic poultry. Approximately five million Egyptian families depend on poultry as an important source of food and income.
Since July, more than 16,000 people have been infected with the avian flu worldwide, resulting in 265 deaths.