Mar 3, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Health officials in Egypt announced on Mar 1 that a 25-year-old woman who is hospitalized with severe respiratory symptoms has an H5N1 avian influenza infection.
Abdel Rahman Shaheen, spokesman for Egypt's health ministry, said in a statement from MENA, the country's state news agency, that tests on Mar 1 confirmed that the woman's samples were positive for the virus, according to a report from Reuters. If the woman's illness is confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO), she will be listed as Egypt's 45th H5N1 case-patient.
Shaheen said the woman had been transferred from Fayoum governorate, about 53 miles south of Cairo, to a hospital in the country's capital, where she is being treated with oseltamivir (Tamiflu), an antiviral medication, Reuters reported. He said she had a high fever and inflammation of both lungs.
News reports on the woman's illness gave no details on the source of her infection.
The woman is the second Egyptian patient in a week to be reported as sick with an H5N1 infection. On Feb 26 health officials announced that samples from a 4-year-old girl from Menia governorate in upper Egypt were positive for the H5N1 virus.
In a Feb 28 statement, the WHO said the girl got sick on Feb 21 and was hospitalized 3 days later. The statement from MENA said the girl is still hospitalized in Cairo, where she is in stable condition, according to a report yesterday from Xinhua, China's state news agency.
An investigation into the source of the girl's infection revealed that she had contact with sick poultry the week before she became ill, according to the WHO statement. She is listed as Egypt's 44th case-patient. The disease has been fatal in 19 of those.
Feb 28 WHO statement