Oct 30, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – A 39-year-old woman who was previously listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as Egypt's 15th H5N1 avian influenza case-patient died today, the country’s state news agency reported.
She is the seventh Egyptian to die of the illness and the first fatality since May. The woman was from the Nile Delta town of Samanoud, which is about 60 miles northwest of Cairo, Reuters reported today.
According to an Oct 11 WHO statement, the woman became ill on Sep 30 and was hospitalized Oct 4. She had suffered from pneumonia and been treated with oseltamivir. Reuters reported that her contacts have tested negative for the virus.
The WHO report said she had slaughtered and plucked about a dozen ducks after some of the flock got sick and died.
The H5N1 virus first cropped up in Egyptian poultry in February, and a series of human cases followed in April and May. Cases in poultry resurfaced in Egypt Sep 5, when an outbreak was reported 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.
A Reuters report said most commercial poultry flocks in Egypt have been vaccinated against H5N1, but only about 20% of backyard birds have been immunized.