Apr 11, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed that H5N1 avian influenza caused the deaths of two teenage girls, a 15-year-old in Egypt and a 13-year-old in Cambodia.
The Egyptian girl, from Cairo, died yesterday, just as the WHO confirmed her as Egypt's 34th H5N1 case-patient. Today the WHO cited her death as the country's 14th H5N1 fatality. The girl became ill on Mar 30 and had been hospitalized since Apr 5. She was from Cairo's Shubra district and had had contact with poultry, Agence France-Press reported 2 days ago.
The WHO yesterday also confirmed a 2-year-old girl as Egypt's 33rd H5N1 case-patient. The girl, from Menia governorate, about 100 miles south of Cairo, fell ill on Apr 3 and was hospitalized the next day. She remained in stable condition yesterday, the agency said.
In addition, the WHO confirmed yesterday that the death of a 13-year-old Cambodian girl 6 days ago was due to H5N1 infection. The girl, from Ponhea Kreak district in Kampong Chang province, experienced symptoms on Apr 2, was hospitalized the next day, and died on Apr 5. She is Cambodia's first human case of 2007 and the country's 7th case overall. All seven cases have been fatal, the WHO report said.
An initial investigation found that there had been sick and dead poultry in the girl's village in recent weeks and that she had consumed a sick chicken right before she developed symptoms, according to the WHO report. A team from Cambodia's health ministry, the WHO, and the Pasteur Institute is following up with the girl's close contacts and is conducting avian flu awareness activities in the area.
The new WHO case confirmations bring the agency's global avian flu count to 291 cases with 172 deaths, representing a 59% case-fatality rate.