Egypt, Indonesia each report an avian flu case

Oct 11, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) announced today that a 39-year-old Egyptian woman has H5N1 avian influenza, while officials in Indonesia reported another fatal human case there.

The Egyptian patient, from the Gharbiya governorate in the Nile Delta, about 60 miles northwest of Cairo, fell ill Sep 30 and was hospitalized Oct 4, the WHO said. She has pneumonia and remains hospitalized in stable condition. Reuters reported today that the woman has been treated with oseltamivir and that her family was being tested for the virus.

The woman had recently slaughtered and plucked about a dozen ducks after illness and deaths started occurring in the flock, according to the WHO.

The woman is Egypt’s 15th avian flu case-patient and the first since May. All of the country's previous cases, six of which were fatal, occurred between late March and May, the WHO said.

With the Egyptian case, the WHO's global avian flu count rose to 253 cases with 148 deaths.

Avian flu in poultry resurfaced in Egypt on Sep 5, when the country’s agriculture minister confirmed an H5N1 case on a farm in the southern province of Sohag, about 305 miles south of Cairo. Another outbreak was reported in late September among domestic birds at a home near Aswan, in southern Egypt, near the border with Sudan.

In Indonesia, health ministry official Joko Suyono told Bloomberg News today that a 67-year-old woman from West Java province is infected with the H5N1 avian flu virus. The woman is from Bandung, where at least one other avian flu case occurred recently.

If the case is confirmed by the WHO, it will be Indonesia’s 70th.

The woman was hospitalized in Bandung on Oct 2, two days after she experienced flu-like symptoms, said Suyono, who added that diseased poultry were the likely cause of the woman’s infection.

Today's report gave no indication whether the woman has any connection with previous avian flu cases in Bandung. A 20-year-old man who died on Sep 27 tested positive for H5N1, and his 23-year-old brother died of similar symptoms 3 days earlier but was never tested. Their 15-year-old sister was hospitalized at about the same time, but tests indicated she had seasonal flu.

See also:

Oct 11 WHO statement

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