Jan 22, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Veterinary authorities in Egypt today reported H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks in two governorates, as Chinese officials beefed up their avian flu reporting system and took other measures to limit human exposure to the virus.
Both of Egypt's outbreaks involved backyard poultry, according to reports posted today on the Web site of Egypt-based Strengthening Avian Influenza Detection and Response (SAIDR). The project, funded by the US Agency for International Development with assistance from Johns Hopkins University, is designed to help Egypt coordinate avian flu efforts with its international partners.
One of the outbreaks involved 53 chickens, ducks, and geese in Reva village in Asyut governorate. The vaccination status of the birds is not known. Asyut governorate is located in the middle of Egypt on the banks of the Nile River.
In the other outbreak, the virus struck 15 chickens, ducks, and geese in Seila Ezbet Edris village in Faiyum governorate. All of the birds had been vaccinated in 2008, the SAIDR report said. Faiyum governorate is in north-central Egypt, about 80 miles southwest of Cairo.
Elsewhere, provincial officials in eastern China yesterday banned the raising of poultry in Shandong province's cities to curb the transmission of the H5N1 virus to humans, Agence France-Presse reported. Xinhua, China's state news agency, said the ban, which went into effect yesterday, follows the Jan 17 death of a 27-year-old woman from an H5N1 infection. She was from Jinan, Shandong's capital.
A statement from the World Health Organization on the woman's death said investigators were still trying to determine the source of the woman's infection.
In other developments, China's health ministry said today that it launched a daily avian influenza reporting system for humans and birds, according to a report from the Associated Press. The action follows four recent H5N1 cases in China, three of them fatal.
The health, agriculture, and commerce ministries have ordered provincial departments to provide daily reports on infections, the AP report said. Daily reporting was also conducted during previous outbreaks of H5N1 and SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome).
Jan 19 WHO statement