Egypt reports 27th case of avian flu

Editor's note: Because of a technical problem, this story was not published until Mar 27.

Mar 26, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – A diagnosis of H5N1 avian influenza in a 3-year-old Egyptian girl yesterday marked Egypt's 27th case overall and the ninth this year, according to news services.

The girl, who tested positive yesterday, is from the southern city of Aswan, according to an Associated Press (AP) report. Egypt's two previous case-patients, a 2-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl, were also from Aswan.

Health ministry spokesman Abdel Rahman Shahine said the 3-year-old girl was admitted to an Aswan hospital with a fever and cold symptoms, the AP reported. She was in stable condition and being treated with oseltamivir (Tamiflu). A report by Xinhua, the Chinese news service, said the girl was hospitalized Mar 22.

Shahine said the girl caught the virus from birds her family raises, according to the AP.

The World Health Organization has not yet recognized the girl's case on its Web site. Of 26 confirmed cases in Egypt, 13 have been fatal. By the WHO's count, Egypt has the third most cases, after Vietnam, with 93 (42 fatal), and Indonesia with 81 (63 fatal). Several recent cases reported in Indonesia have not yet been recognized by the WHO.

In other developments, officials in Bangladesh reported H5N1 had spread to three poultry farms widely separated from those near the capital, Dhaka, where outbreaks were reported last week, according to an Agence France-Press (AFP) report published yesterday.

A government spokesman named Abdul Motalib said outbreaks were found on three farms in the northern district of Jamalpur, prompting the destruction of 9,000 birds, AFP reported. He also said there were reports of chicken deaths in two other districts.

A Reuters report today said outbreaks have struck a total of nine farms in the Dhaka area and Jamalpur district, leading to the culling of 50,000 birds.

A number of workers at the farms have been tested and found free of the virus, Health Secretary Ehsan Ul Fattah told Reuters.

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