The Egyptian Ministry of Health announced today two additional human H5N1 avian influenza cases, bringing the total this year to 12.

H5N1 avian influenza/CDC
H5N1 avian influenza/CDC

According to the health ministry (computer translated), one case is a 3-year-old child from Beheira governorate. It is reported the child has recovered from the illness and has been released from the hospital.

The second case is a 65-year-old patient from Asyut province. This patient has died, becoming the second fatality due to H5N1 avian flu in Egypt this year to date.

Of the 12 cases reported in 2015, 3 cases have recovered, 7 cases are still being treated and there has been two deaths.

Egypt has reported 27 cases since October 2014, much higher that what was seen during the previous two years.

Related: Egypt: H5N1 avian influenza family cluster reported by WHO

According to the World Health Organization, the increase in reported human cases is likely a consequence of several factors. These includes increased circulation of influenza A(H5N1) viruses in poultry, lower public health awareness of risks in middle and upper Egypt and seasonal factors such as closer proximity to poultry and longer survival of the viruses in the environment because of cold.

Related: China reports 16 additional H7N9 avian influenza cases, 3 deaths