Avian Flu Scan for Dec 23, 2014

Human H5N6 in China
H5N1 case in Egypt
H10N7 in European seals

China reports world's 2nd H5N6 case

China today reported the world's second known human case of H5N6 avian flu, in a 58-year-old man in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP) said.

The first case, in early May, was in Sichuan province and proved fatal.

The current H5N6 patient is hospitalized in critical condition in Guangzhou, the CHP said in a press release. His close contacts have shown no sign of illness.

The man tested positive for H5N6 in routine testing by provincial health officials for influenza and severe pneumonia, Xinhua, China's state news agency, reported today. Further testing by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the result yesterday.

"All boundary control points have implemented disease prevention and control measures" a spokesman said in the CHP release. "Thermal imaging systems are in place for body temperature checks of inbound travellers. Suspected cases will be immediately referred to public hospitals for follow-up investigation."
Dec 23 CHP news release
Dec 23 Xinhua story
May 6 CIDRAP News scan on first H5N6 case


Egypt reports its 21st H5N1 infection

Egypt's Ministry of Health today reported the nation's 21st case this year of H5N1 avian flu, in a 42-year-old from Sohag governorate in central Egypt, according to a translated statement posted on the infectious disease blog Avian Flu Diary.

The man first had symptoms on Dec 19 and was hospitalized the next day with fever and a cough, the statement said. He has received oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and is in stable condition. He tested positive for H5N1 yesterday.

He owns a farm where dead birds had been identified before he fell ill, the health ministry said. Of Egypt's 21 cases this year, 9 have been fatal, the ministry reported. Four of the patients—including the latest—are still receiving treatment.
Dec 23 Avian Flu Diary post


Two reports note phylogeny of H10N7 in European seal die-off

Genetic analysis of H10N7 avian flu viruses isolated from dead seals in Denmark and Germany shows they are closely related to H10N7 strains from the republic of Georgia and from Egypt, as well as those recently identified in other parts of northwestern Europe, according to separate reports yesterday in Emerging Infectious Diseases.

In Denmark, researchers isolated H10N7 from two of four dead seals they examined after a die-off of at least 152 harbor seals on the island of Anholt. They found both the hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) segments showed high-level nucleotide sequence identity to avian flu viruses from birds in Scandinavia and Georgia.

The HA of the Danish viruses was 98.7% identical and the NA 97.0% identical to viruses isolated from seals in Sweden in April.

In the German report, samples from 11 of 17 dead seals tested positive for influenza A, and H10N7 was identified on further testing. The German team found the HA and NA genes were most closely related to H10N7 viruses recently found in migratory ducks in Georgia, Egypt, and the Netherlands.

The report said that, in the coastal waters of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, alone, 1,400 of about 12,000 harbor seals have died of influenza-like illness. Officials last week estimated the death toll among seals in Sweden and Denmark to be about 3,000.
Dec 22 Emerg Infect Dis Danish report
Dec 22 Emerg Infect Dis German report
Dec 16 CIDRAP News scan on death toll in seals

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