Bangladesh reports another H5N1 infection

Mar 16, 2011 (CIDRAP News) – Health officials in Bangladesh have confirmed another H5N1 avian influenza infection, the second one in a week, bdnews24.com, a news service based in Dhaka, reported today.

The new case is in a 2-year-old boy who appeared at a surveillance site in Kamalapur with mild symptoms that included a fever and cough. Tests on the boy's respiratory and serum samples were conducted by the country's Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).

Dr Mahmudur Rahman, director of the IEDCR, told bdnews24 that the strain (clade 2.2) of the H5N1 virus that circulates in Bangladesh is less virulent than other strains.

The boy's illness was detected during surveillance related to the investigation of another recently reported case, in a 13-month-old girl whose infection was confirmed today by the World Health Organization (WHO). However, Rahman said the boy is not related to the girl.

The WHO said in its statement today that Bangladesh's health ministry has confirmed a 16-month-old girl's infection with the H5N1 influenza. Her illness was reported by the media on Mar 14.

In its statement, the WHO said the girl's infection was detected at an IEDCR surveillance center in Kamalapur in Dhaka state. She was brought to the center on Mar 8 with cough and fever and has since recovered.

An investigation into the source of her illness is being conducted by Bangladeshi and WHO officials.

Her illness, plus the boy's infection, raise Bangladesh's H5N1 case total to 3, none of which have been fatal. The other infection occurred in 2008, in a 16-month-old boy.

If the WHO confirms today's reported case, the global H5N1 case count would rise to 535, including 316 deaths.

See also:

Mar 16 WHO statement

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