Another Egyptian has died of H5N1 bird flu, bringing the total number of deaths in Egypt from the virus to seven this year out of 14 identified cases, the health ministry said on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old man, who worked with birds and came to hospital suffering from a fever, cough and a shortage of breath, died in the province of Minya, south of Cairo, where several other cases have occurred, the ministry said in a statement.

On Monday, the ministry said three people had died in the last week.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), from 2003 through until October 2, 2014, there have been 668 laboratory-confirmed human cases of H5N1 infection officially reported from 16 countries. Of these cases, 393 have died.

The WHO 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.

Human cases of H5N1 are rare, however, and the virus does not currently appear to transmit easily from person to person.

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