FLU NEWS SCAN: H5N1 case in Egypt, H5N1 outbreak in China, flu season retrospective

Jun 7, 2012

Egypt reports H5N1 case in 4-year-old girl
Egypt's health ministry reported an H5N1 avian influenza infection in a 4-year-old girl from Kafr el Sheikh governorate, the World Health Organization (WHO) said today. She got sick on Apr 25 and was hospitalized the next day, where she was immediately treated with oseltamivir (Tamiflu). She was released from the hospital on May 7. An investigation into the source of her infection found that she had been exposed to backyard poultry. The girl's infection pushes Egypt's H5N1 total to 168, which includes 60 deaths. The latest case raises the global case total to 606, of which 357 were fatal.
Jun 7 WHO statement
Jun 7 WHO global H5N1 case count

H5N1 strikes farm in northern China
H5N1 avian flu struck a farm in northern China's Gansu province last week, leading to the culling of more than 18,000 chickens, according to a report that Chinese officials filed yesterday with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The report said 6,200 chickens showed signs of illness on Jun 1, and 260 died. The remaining 18,200 chickens in the flock were destroyed. The Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, China's national avian flu reference lab, tested samples from the farm and confirmed the presence of H5N1 on Jun 5. The farm is in the village of Dongguan in Jingtai county. Authorities said they quarantined and disinfected the farm.
Jun 6 OIE report

CDC replays unusual flu season stats
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today looked back on the 2011-12 flu season, noting that it was one of the mildest and latest seasons on record. In a summary in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the agency said the 2.4% peak in doctor's visits for flulike illness, seen the week ending Mar 17, was the lowest since the system began reporting in 1997, and the measure never exceeded the national baseline. The number of pediatric flu deaths—26 so far—was the lowest since such data were first collected during the 2004-05 flu season. Deaths from flu and pneumonia exceeded the epidemic threshold only once, the week ending Jan 21. The CDC said hospitalization rates were lower than in the past season, though the impact by age-group was similar. H3N2 viruses predominated nationally, with the percentage of 2009 H1N1 viruses rising in midseason, primarily in southern states, and the number of influenza B viruses spiking mainly in northwestern states at the end of the season. Most specimens the CDC received for virus characterization were well matched to the components of the seasonal flu vaccine. The agency said year-round testing for seasonal and novel flu strains should continue, a process that was instrumental in detecting several variant H3N2 cases and isolated novel H1N1 and H1N2 cases.
Jun 7 MMWR report

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