Apr 6, 2011 (CIDRAP News) – Two countries reported five new H5N1 avian influenza infections today, four of them in Egypt and one in Cambodia, including an 11-year-old girl who died from her illness, according to reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the media.
Two of Egypt's case-patients are children from Behaira governorate in the northern Nile Delta area, but are from different villages and not related. One is a 1-year-old boy who got sick on Feb 14, was hospitalized 2 days later, and was discharged on Feb 22, according to a statement on the Egyptian cases from the WHO today. The second patient from that area is a 3-year-old girl who began having flu symptoms on Mar 10, was hospitalized on Mar 12, and was discharged on Mar 18.
The third patient is a 34-year-old woman from Alexandria governorate, in northern Egypt on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, who began having symptoms on Mar 9 and was hospitalized 6 days later. She remains in stable condition.
Egypt's fourth H5N1 infection was in a 30-year-old woman from Kafr El-Sheikh governorate, in the northern part of the country along the western branch of the Nile River, who got sick on Mar7 and was hospitalized on Mar 15. She recovered from her illness and was discharged on Mar 27.
The WHO said investigations into all four infections revealed that the patients had been exposed to poultry that were sick or died from suspected avian flu. The new cases push Egypt's count of H5N1 cases to 137, of which 45 were fatal.
In Cambodia, the health ministry said in a joint statement with the WHO today that an 11-year-old girl from Kompong Cham province died from an H5N1 infection, according to Xinhua, China's state news agency. She became ill on Mar 22 and was hospitalized on Mar 29 after being treated by local villagers. On Mar 31 she was transferred to a hospital in Siem Reap province in northwestern Cambodia, where she died 4 hours after admission.
The report did not say if the girl had been exposed to sick or dead poultry before she started having flu symptoms. Once the WHO adds her infection and death to its H5N1 totals, she will be listed as Cambodia's 14th case-patient and 12th fatality.
Cambodia has now reported four H5N1 infections this year, which puts the country on track to possibly pass the 2005 level for its highest number of H5N1 illnesses.
The new H5N1 cases and death would raise the WHO's global H5N1 count to 544 cases and 319 deaths.
Apr 6 WHO statement
Apr 6 Xinhua story