After a long dry spell with little or no reporting, Egypt’s MOH has announced their 3rd H5N1 human infection in three days. On Sunday (see Egyptian MOH: Two New H5N1 Cases (Minya, Assiut)) the MOH reported a 19 y.o.woman in critical condition (now reported to have died) in Assiut, and a 3 y.o. child in Minya in good condition.
Yesterday there were also media reports yesterday suggesting a 30 y.o. from Minya was also infected. Today, we have MOH confirmation of that case, who is currently on a respirator.
Onset of illness was said to be November 11th. Although hailing from the same province as the 3 y.o. reported on Sunday, we have no information to indicate whether these cases are linked.
Announced the Ministry of Health for the discovery of cases of the new human bird flu A / H5N1, the old lady of 30 years of Beni Mazar Center in Minia Governorate where exposed to sick birds (domestic breeding), bringing the number of cases of the disease rises to 7 cases during the year.
The ministry said in a statement that the onset of symptoms to the patient on Nov. 11 where he was suffering from fever, sore throat and cough, and difficulty breathing and pain of joints, and the next day of the onset of symptoms went sick to hospital built the central shrine, then was converted to a hospital fevers built shrine where she began taking Tamiflu. On day 14 of this month has been the case for the hospital Thobl health insurance Beni Mazar, where scans show the presence of double pneumonia, have been isolated case dated 11/16/2014 intensive care and placed on a respirator and general condition is device stable.
The ministry has indicated it is currently following up the contacts of the case, has also informed the Veterinary Authority to take the necessary actions towards the hotbeds of bird flu. Source: Media Center
Although we’ve seen scattered outbreaks of H5N1 in poultry pretty much year-round, there is little doubt that the virus has a seasonal component, particularly in its transmission from birds to humans. The saw-toothed chart below illustrates that most human infections occur in the winter and spring, with the peak usually occurring in January-February-March.
Credit WHO Influenza at the human-animal interface
As you can see, H5N1 activity has declined considerably over the past several years, although the slack has more than been made up by the emergence of H7N9. Whether this represents a trend, or a temporary cycle, is hard to know.
For now, H5N1 remains poorly adapted to humans – and despite ample opportunities, is only rarely passed from birds to humans. It remains primarily a threat to poultry.
But as with any influenza virus, H5N1 has the capacity to evolve and change behavior over time. Which is why we watch these cases carefully, looking for any signs that the virus has better adapted to human physiology.
While today’s case bring the MOH’s total to 7 cases for the year, FluTrackers has an additional case confirmed by the regional (Beheira) Ministry of Health, which if included, would bring the total to 8.