The bird flu situation in Egypt continues to evolve, with many suspected cases being tested (most of whom turn out negative), and the occasional positive result. According to multiple media sources, overnight the MOH announced their 16th case of the year – that of a 16 month old toddler who is reportedly in stable condition – in addition to announcing the death of a teacher yesterday.
Although still less than half of the totals we were seeing out of Egypt a few years ago, the MOH has reported a dozen new cases in less than a month, which represents an abrupt and significant uptick in activity.
While there are signs that the Egyptian media is more willing to report on avian flu than they have been over the past few years, there are still noticeable gaps in the flow of information. The Ministry of Health’s website has yet to post anything on the latest case, yet there are literally dozens of accounts in the media, with the following one (machine translated) from www.vetogate.com/ providing perhaps the most detail.
Health announces bird flu infections to 16 cases during 2014.. The death of the eighth case in Sohag. Activation of disease surveillance in all health facilities in. ..Epidemiological and clinical training of medical teams. Rapid response teams
Thursday, 11/Dec/2014-9: 59 pm
The Ministry of health and population said Thursday high bird flu cases to 16 injured by 2014, rising the death toll to eight, the Ministry revealed in a statement on Wednesday about the new bird flu of the old "one and four months" from akhmim Sohag N5H1 virus.
Palestinian child due to symptom onset date 7/12/2014 and has been reserved in the Sohag hospital viruses that same evening and the general situation is stable because of the health care provided to them on the same day of the onset of symptoms.
Healing of two
The Ministry announced the heal and exit two, one for the Lady of Minya governorate, were booked at the Abbasid, and released other case is for a two-year-old from Sohag governorate, were receiving treatment in hospital in Sohag died viruses a third case is an old lady, a 33-year-old from Sohag province, was held by the health insurance hospital in Sohag.
Medical sources said that two previous cases as a result of the healing discovered early and give them proper treatment immediately upon suspicion of having the disease, resulting in speed to recovers.
Go immediately to the hospital
And calls upon the Ministry of health and population of citizens who handle poultry to go immediately to the nearest hospital to receive health service if they have flu symptoms, where the infected bird flu drug Tamiflu within the first 24 hours of the onset of symptoms increases the cure rate of the disease and reduce death rates.
It also advises people who deal with poultry must use respirators when handling poultry, wash hands with SOAP and water after handling birds and children not accompany poultry or slaughter premises as well as the need to separate from living birds.
This story goes on to list some of the steps being taken by the MOH to combat this outbreak, including:
- Activating enhanced disease-surveillance in all health facilities nationwide
- The setting up of isolation rooms in hospitals in all Governorates
- The distribution of antivirals (Tamiflu ®)
- Rapid Response Teams activated
- Increased public education on avian flu
Adding to the confusion, this week the media has carried a lot of accusations for responsibility between the Ministries of Health and Agriculture for the current uptick in cases, predictions from the MOH that they expect to see as many as `10 cases a month through the winter’, and impossible to verify media reports suggesting more cases than are being officially acknowledged.
At this point about all we can say with certainty is that Egypt is seeing a strong resurgence of H5N1 avian flu, both in birds and in humans, and the MOH is mounting a major offensive.
Just how big this outbreak really is, is something we’ll have to wait until the dust clears to figure out.