Avian Flu Scan for Feb 23, 2015

H5N1 continues in Egypt
More H7N9 cases in China

Six H5N1 cases and 1 death reported in Egypt

Highly pathogenic H5N1 avian flu has infected six additional patients in Egypt, one of them fatally, since the last report, according to the machine translation of an update from the country's Ministry of Health posted yesterday by FluTrackers, an infectious disease news message board, continuing the uptick in cases there in recent weeks.

The new cases involve a 26-year-old man in Sharqia governorate who is hospitalized; two 32-year-old women, one hospitalized in Monufia and one in Dakahlia who has died; a 3-year-old girl in Faiyum whose case was previously suspected; and a 5-year-old girl in Giza and a 10-month-old child in Beheira, both of whom have apparently recovered. All of the locales are in northern Egypt's Nile Valley.

FluTrackers' case listing shows 64 cases of H5N1 in Egypt since Jan 1, with 19 deaths. These follow 25 cases with 14 deaths during December 2014.
Feb 22 FluTrackers post
FluTrackers H5N1 case listing
Related Feb 16 CIDRAP News item


China's H7N9 cases increase by 7 as Hong Kong notes 1

China can get no rest from human H7N9 avian influenza, with five more cases reported in residents of Guangdong province, one in a Hong Kong man who visited Guangdong, and one each in Jiangxi and Zhejiang provinces in the past few days, according to updates yesterday from Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP) and media reports.

The case-patients are all men and all hospitalized. Five case-patients from Guangdong reported in one CHP update include a 51-year-old from Jinping, a 55-year-old from Heyuan, a 51-year-old from Meizhou with a history of Parkinson's disease, a 57-year old in Huizhou, and a 52-year-old in Jiangmen. The CHP says three of the men are in critical, one in serious, and one in stable condition.

A story from Xinhua, China's news agency, states that a 74-year-old man from the city of Nanchang in Jiangxi province was diagnosed with H7N9 over the weekend.

Still another case, in the city of Zhuji in Zhejiang province, has been diagnosed in a 55-year-old man, according to a posting on FluTrackers.

A CHP press release yesterday as well as an article in the South China Morning Post today detail yet another case, in a 61-year-old man from Hong Kong who traveled to the town of Zhangmutou in Guangdong twice earlier this month, visiting a wet poultry market Feb 14 and purchasing two slaughtered chickens. He had preexisting disease and is in critical condition.

The story said some experts are concerned that H3N2, the seasonal flu virus now circulating in China, could mix with the H7N9 virus and mutate. "The worst outcome could lead to human-to human transmission," said Dr. Ho Pak-leung, a microbiologist at the University of Hong Kong.

FluTrackers, which keeps a list of H7N9 cases, shows a total of 608, including the new ones discussed above.
Feb 22 CHP update
Feb 22 Xinhua story
Feb 22 FluTrackers post
Feb 22 CHP press release
Feb 23 South China Morning Post story
FluTrackers H7N9 case listing

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