A two-year-old Egyptian boy has contracted avian influenza and is in critical condition, the state-run news agency quoted the Health Ministry as saying, becoming the 56th case in the Arab country, according to a Reuters report.

The Middle East News Agency (MENA) quoted Assistant Health Minister Nasr el-Sayyed as saying the boy, Youssef Abdel-Azim from the province of el-Fayoum in central Egypt, showed symptoms last Wednesday after coming into contact with dead birds.

He was administered the antiviral drug Tamiflu and remains in critical condition on a ventilator at a hospital in Cairo, said the agency, citing Sayyed.