Egypt's H5N1 cases top 100

Feb 24, 2010 (CIDRAP News) – Egypt's health ministry has reported three more H5N1 avian influenza infections, two boys and a 30-year-old woman, pushing country's confirmed cases to 102, an Egypt-based avian influenza Web site reported today.

Few details were available about the patients in reports that appeared on Egypt's Strengthening Avian Influenza Detection and Response (SAIDR), a Web site that reports human cases and poultry outbreaks and includes avian influenza resources for Egyptian public health workers.

One of the patients is a 10-year-old boy from Dakahlia governorate who got sick on Feb 10. He was hospitalized in Cairo in "moderate" condition, where he started receiving oseltamivir (Tamiflu) treatment on Feb 14.

The other patients are a 30-year-old woman and a 13-year-old boy, both from Kafr El Sheikh governorate but from different districts. Egypt's health ministry lists the patients as its 100th, 101st, and 102nd H5N1 cases. The World Health Organization's (WHO's) global H5N1 total doesn't yet include the three new cases. According to the WHO, Egypt has reported 30 deaths from the virus.

In other developments, flu bloggers that translate foreign-language media articles of infectious disease developments are reporting what appears to be yet another case, a 14-month-old from Qalyubia governorate who is reportedly hospitalized in stable condition after receiving oseltamivir.

Human H5N1 cases have spiked dramatically in Egypt since the first of the year. Including the three new cases reported by SAIDR, Egypt has so far confirmed 12 cases and three deaths in the first 2 months of 2010. Last year the country reported 39 cases and 4 deaths for the entire year.

The H5N1 illness pattern in Egypt appears to have shifted. Last year young children seemed to carry the biggest disease burden, but this year the virus has struck several adults. Egypt has reported dozens of poultry outbreaks this year, most of them in household birds.

Egypt has the world's third-highest number of confirmed H5N1 cases but is gaining on Vietnam, which has 112 cases and 57 deaths.

See also:

Feb 24 FluTrackers thread

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