Feb 15, 1010 (CIDRAP News) – Egypt's health ministry reported another human H5N1 influenza case, in a 29-year-old woman from Menofia governorate who died of her infection, according to a statement yesterday from the Egyptian State Information Service.
News of the latest human case came as Egypt's animal health officials detailed 33 new H5N1 outbreaks in poultry that have been confirmed since Feb 1 and as foreign-language media sources reported other human H5N1 infections and deaths.
The notice of the woman's infection contained few details, but said her death brought the number of fatalities to 30 and raised the number of cases to as many as 99. When the World Health Organization (WHO) reported the latest Egyptian case on Feb 10, it listed Egypt's total as 97 cases and 27 fatalities, so it's unclear if Egypt's tally includes H5N1 cases and deaths that haven't yet been reported to the WHO. The FluTrackers infectious disease message board has noted what appear to be additional H5N1 deaths and an illness that have only been reported in the Arabic press so far.
Since the first of the year Egypt has reported seven H5N1 infections in humans, and the infections seem to be striking adults more than children, a change from a pattern in 2009, when the youngest children seemed to bear the greatest disease burden. Among seven H5N1 infections reported to the WHO this year, five have occurred in adults—three women and two men.
Meanwhile, the rise in human H5N1 infections seems to be following increased H5N1 activity in the country's s poultry. Egypt's Strengthening Avian Influenza Detection and Response (SAIDR) site recently posted reports of 33 H5N1 detections since Feb 1. The outbreaks hit birds in 12 different governorates, with the highest numbers of outbreaks in Dakahlia (7), Qalyubia (6), and Menofia (5).
Most of the outbreaks were detected in household birds, though the virus was detected at four farms—two during routine surveillance. The type of operation was not reported for one of the outbreaks.
Feb 11 FluTrackers thread