Egypt reports 5 H5N1 infections, 3 fatal

Jun 16, 2011 (CIDRAP News) – Egypt recently announced five new H5N1 avian influenza infections that occurred in May, three of them fatal, the World Health Organization (WHO) said today.

The infections were reported from four different governorates, and four of the case-patients are adults. The WHO said investigations revealed all five of the patients had been exposed to poultry that had suspected avian influenza. Their infections push Egypt's H5N1 totals to 149 cases, including 51 deaths.

The first case is in a 40-year-old woman from Aswan governorate who got sick May 14. She was hospitalized, where she was treated with oseltamivir (Tamiflu). She recovered and has been discharged from the hospital.

Two of the patients are from Menoufia governorate's Ashmoun district, a 21-year-old pregnant woman and a 16-year-old boy. The report didn't say if the two cases had any connections, besides the geographic location. They both started having symptoms on May 21.

The woman died on May 29 after she was hospitalized and treated with oseltamivir. The boy was in critical condition, but is recovering in the hospital after antiviral treatment.

The fourth case-patient is a 31-year-old man from Qaliobia governorate who got sick on May 21 and died on Jun 5 after he was hospitalized and treated with oseltamivir.

The fifth H5N1 infection was detected in a 32-year-old man from Cairo governorate who became ill on May 23 and was hospitalized and received oseltamivir. He died on Jun 2. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported a fatal H5N1 infection in an Egyptian patient from Cairo governorate in a Jun 8 report, with few other details available other than a May 23 observation date. It's not clear if the WHO and FAO reports are referring to the same patient.

So far Egypt has reported 30 H5N1 infections this year, which exceeds the 29 cases it reported for all of 2010. However, the number of infections is still below 2009 levels, when the country saw its H5N1 case count hit 39, its highest yearly total.

Egypt's latest H5N1 infections raise the global count to 561 cases, including 328 deaths.

See also:

Jun 16 WHO statement

Jun 8 FAO report

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