China reports 2 more H7N9 cases
China has reported two more cases of H7N9 avian flu, according to a provincial health report posted by the infectious diseases news board FluTrackers.
Both patients are from Jiangsu province, and their cases were confirmed on Apr 5. The first is a 73-year-old man from Taizhou City who is hospitalized in critical condition.
The second is a 28-year-old woman who is hospitalized in critical condition in a Suzhou hospital. She had bought live chickens from a market and slaughtered and cooked them at home, the report said.
The cases push the outbreak's overall total to 413, according to FluTrackers. The unofficial number of deaths remains at 124. So far 277 cases have been reported in the outbreak's second wave, which started in October, compared with 136 in the first wave last spring.
Apr 5 FluTrackers post
FluTrackers human H7N9 case list
Elderly Egyptian woman contracts H5N1
An 86-year-old Egyptian woman is in intensive care with H5N1 avian flu, The Global Dispatch reported yesterday.
The woman, who has diabetes, is from Beheira governorate's capital city of Damanhur and is hospitalized in "poor condition." She is receiving oseltamivir (Tamiflu). The country's previous two cases, reported on Mar 22, were also from Beheira governorate. The story said one of those earlier patients was also from Damanhur.
Egypt has had 173 confirmed H5N1 cases since 2006, not including this year's cases, and 63 deaths, according to World Health Organization (WHO) data. The country is second in the world in both cumulative cases and deaths.
But the country's WHO-confirmed cases have dropped substantially in recent years. Egypt had 39, 29, and 39 cases in 2009, 2010, and 2011, respectively. In 2012 the nation had 11 cases, 5 of which were fatal, and in 2013 it reported just 4 cases and 3 deaths.
Apr 6 Global Dispatch article
Mar 24 CIDRAP News scan on previous two cases
WHO cumulative case count, as of Jan 24
WHO says flu approaching interseasonal levels
The Northern Hemisphere appears to be approaching interseasonal influenza levels in most countries, the WHO reported today, with influenza B surging in many areas, which is a common late-season occurrence.
The agency reported low flu circulation in North America, Asia, North Africa, the Caribbean, and the Southern Hemisphere. It said that Mongolia and Thailand were exceptions, experiencing elevated levels.
From Mar 9 through Mar 22, national flu centers had tested 65,498 respiratory specimens, of which 10,986 were positive for influenza; two thirds were influenza A and one third were influenza B. Among flu A viruses, 57% were 2009 H1N1 and 43% were H3N2.
Apr 7 WHO update