Egypt, Vietnam report new H5N1 cases

Feb 9, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – Egypt's health ministry reported that an 18-month-old Egyptian boy has been hospitalized with an H5N1 avian influenza infection, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported today, following news reports yesterday that a 23-year-old Vietnamese woman is also battling the virus.

The boy, from Menia governorate, got sick on Feb 6 and was hospitalized the next day at Maghagha Fever Hospital, where he is in stable condition, according to the WHO. His illness boosts Egypt's H5N1 case count to 55, of which 23 have been fatal.

The boy received oseltamivir (Tamiflu) treatment, Xinhua, China's state news agency, reported today.

Egypt's Central Public Health Laboratory confirmed the boy's infection. Menia governorate is about 100 miles south of Cairo.

An investigation into the source of the boy's illness found that he had close contact with dead poultry before he got sick, the WHO report said.

So far this year Egypt has had four H5N1 cases, and all were in children age 2 or younger who had contact with sick or dead poultry. None of the children have died, and all received prompt hospital care after they got sick, according to WHO reports.

In Vietnam, a hospital official from Quang Ninh province said a 23-year-old woman has an H5N1 infection, according to a report today from Agence France-Presse (AFP). If the woman's case is confirmed by the WHO, she will become Vietnam's 108th case, of which 52 have been fatal.

A doctor from the provincial hospital told AFP yesterday that the woman has been hospitalized for 5 days and is "not doing very good." She is Vietnam's first official H5N1 case of the year. The country's last case, an 8-year-old girl from Thanh Hoa province, got sick on Dec 27, so the WHO counted her infection as a 2008 case. She has since recovered.

The woman got sick on Jan 28 after eating chicken, AFP reported. Sick and dead poultry had been reported in her neighborhood. Quang Ninh is on Vietnam's northeastern coast.

If the WHO confirms the Vietnamese patient, the two new cases would push the global H5N1 case count to 407 cases, 254 of them fatal.

See also:

Feb 9 WHO statement

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