NEWS SCAN: Egypt's H5N1 toll grows, new H5N1 recombinant vaccine virus, Vietnam gets avian flu supplies

May 28, 2009

WHO confirms H5N1 infections in pair of Egyptian 4-year-olds
The World Health Organization (WHO) today confirmed two recently reported H5N1 avian influenza infections in Egyptian children. One of the patients is a 4-year-old boy from Hehia City in Sharkia governorate. He got sick with a fever on May 24. The other case-patient is a 4-year-old girl from Abo Hammad district, also in Sharkia governorate, who became ill with a fever on May 23. Both children were admitted to Zagazig Fever Hospital, where they are receiving oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and are in stable condition. Both had close contact with sick and dead poultry. The cases raise Egypt's number of WHO-confirmed H5N1 cases to 76, of which 27 have been fatal. The WHO's global case count now stands at 431 cases and 262 deaths.
[May 28 WHO statement]

WHO offers new H5N1 recombinant vaccine strain
The WHO today announced that its collaborating center at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed a new H5N1 recombinant vaccine virus based on specimens provided by Egypt's health ministry. The A/Egypt/2321-NAMRU3/2007 (clade 2.2.1) virus is available to institutions, companies, and other pandemic vaccine developers under a material transfer agreement through the WHO's Global Influenza Program or through the CDC.

US donates avian flu gear to Vietnam
The US Embassy in Hanoi announced yesterday that it is donating avian influenza preparedness supplies to Vietnam, which includes 4,000 sets of personal protective equipment and 100 boxes of biodegradable powder than can produce more than 20,000 liters of disinfectant to help public health workers respond to new outbreaks of avian or H1N1 influenza. Vietnam's agriculture ministry requested the supplies, which will be distributed to veterinary departments in 10 provinces that are at high risk for avian flu. The supplies are worth more than $57,000.
[May 27 US Embassy statement]

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