An Egyptian woman has died of H5N1 bird flu after coming into contact with infected birds,  the second death from the disease in two days and the third in the country this year, state newspaper Al-Ahram reported.

The 30-year-old woman was from the province of Minya, south of Cairo, the health ministry said in a statement reported by Al-Ahram on its website. She died in a hospital in the southern city of Assiut.

A 19-year-old woman died of bird flu on Monday in Assiut.

The ministry was quoted by Al-Ahram as saying that they have identified a total of seven cases of the virus this year, including the three who died.

The World Health Organisation warns that whenever bird flu viruses are circulating in poultry, there is a risk of sporadic infections or small clusters of human cases, especially in people exposed to infected birds or contaminated environments.

Egypt's H5N1 cases have largely been found in impoverished rural areas in the south of the country, where villagers, particularly women, tend to keep and slaughter poultry in the home.  

Source: Agencies