Four more H5N1 cases reported in Egypt
A recent flurry of human H5N1 influenza cases in Egypt continued with at least four more over the past 5 days, along with two deaths, according to media and government reports.
Two cases involved a 6-year-old girl from Giza governorate who was in critical condition and a 45-year-old man from Menoufiya governorate who was on a respirator, according to a machine-translated Egyptian Ministry of Health (MOH) statement that was posted Jan 1 on the infectious-disease blog Avian Flu Diary (AFD).
The two cases raised Egypt's H5N1 count for 2014 to 29 cases, with 11 deaths, the MOH said.
The 45-year-old man apparently died of his illness, as a Jan 3 English-language report from AhramOnline noted the death of a 45-year-old Menoufiya man that day. It said he had had pneumonia and had been on a ventilator.
Two additional cases, both in Minya governorate, were revealed today in a machine-translated AhramOnline report posted on AFD (with a note that a subsequent MOH statement matched it). They involve a 30-year-old man in "medium" condition and an 11-year-old boy in critical condition.
The other death involved a 3-year-old child from Giza governorate, according to a story today in the Jerusalem Post, citing the MOH. The description matched that of a case-patient reported by the MOH on Dec 31. It was not clear today whether the 3-year-old Giza child had any connection with the 6-year-old Giza girl whose case was reported Jan 1.
Other AFD posts in recent days have said that Arabic news sources have mentioned two other H5N1 cases in Egypt, but the posts have not noted any confirmatory MOH announcements.
Jan 1 AFD post
Jan 3 AhramOnline story
Jan 5 AFD post
Jan 5 Jerusalem Post story
H5 avian flu found in backyard poultry in Washington
An H5 strain of avian influenza has been found in a backyard flock of waterfowl near Benton City in southeastern Washington state, the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) reported on Jan 2.
The discovery came a little more than 2 weeks after H5N8 and H5N2 viruses were found in wild birds in northwestern Washington's Whatcom County, near the site of H5N2 outbreaks in commercial chicken farms in neighboring British Columbia.
The WSDA said the Benton outbreak involved a flock of about 150 birds that had access to the outdoors and were housed near a pond visited by migratory birds. The owner contacted the agency after about 50 birds died in the course of a week.
The agency didn't specify the full subtype of the virus, but said it was similar to the one found in a captive gyrfalcon in Whatcom County in mid-December, which was an H5N8 virus. An H5N8 virus also was reported in a backyard poultry flock in southwestern Oregon on Dec 19.
The WSDA statement said the virus has not been found in commercial poultry in Washington or the United States and does not pose any immediate public health concern.
China reports H7N9 case in Shenzhen
Continuing a trend of several new H7N9 avian flu cases in China in recent weeks, a 6-year-old girl has contracted the virus in Shenzhen in Guangdong province near Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) reported today.
The girl is hospitalized in stable condition, the CHP said in a news release but provided no other information. Her case marks the first of 2015.
On Dec 30 the CHP noted an H7N9 case in a 35-year-old woman in Shenzhen. And the day before, the agency confirmed that a 68-year-old woman from Hong Kong contracted the virus after visiting a live-poultry market in the city several weeks ago.
The new case raises the global H7N9 total to 476 cases, according to a list kept by FluTrackers, an infectious disease news message board.
The CHP said today that, of 456 H7N9 cases reported by health officials in mainland China, Guangdong has had 113 cases, second only to Zhejiang province, which has confirmed 141.
Jan 5 CHP news release
FluTrackers H7N9 case list