Photo Credit – FAO
Being a Friday, we may not see much official news out of Egypt until later today - but with 10 recent bird flu cases reported - the Arabic media is filled with reports of `suspected’ bird flu cases being isolated and tested (this is flu season, and most are probably not avian flu), and advice by the government to avoid contact with live birds.
A problematic warning, as it is estimated that 90% of rural Egyptian households keep poultry, and markets do a brisk trade in live birds in the cities.
In Egypt – live poultry - whether factory farmed or from backyard flocks, represents a major source of income, protein, and accrued wealth for millions of people. Take that away, and you risk destabilizing an entire region.
Nevertheless, since the H5N1 virus landed in Egypt in 2006, the government has announced a number of ambitious plans to move away from the raising or sale of `live birds’. Economic realities, political upheavals, and a strong public preference for live birds have, unfortunately, pretty much derailed these initiatives.
In 2007 headlines read Egypt To Close Live Poultry Markets, but of course . . .that didn’t happen. In 2010 we saw Egypt’s Plan To Fight Bird Flu, that included a move away from increasingly ineffectual poultry vaccines (see Egypt: A Paltry Poultry Vaccine. and a ban on live bird sales. . . but that didn’t happen either.
The reliance upon poultry vaccines continues in Egypt, as it does in China and much of Asia, and as we’ve seen previously, this risks allowing `vaccine escape’ viruses to develop and circulate asymptomatically (see EID Journal: Subclinical HPAI In Vaccinated Poultry – China).
Today the media is carrying stories outlining the steps that the MOH is taking to prevent more cases, along with warnings that most of the recent H5N1 infections have come from `home raised’ poultry, suggestions that live bird trading should be halted, and advice that children should not be allowed to play with chickens.
A sampling of some of today’s warnings include:
Friday 05 December 2014-03: 06 pm
«Public health» warns Hassan
Dr. Essam Ramadan warned veterinary expert, Chairman of the Committee on public health and food safety risk trading selling live birds in shops and markets in the winter season and sell the chicks to children.
Added to "veto" the toys in chicks exposed to bird flu, and called for a halt to trading in the sale of live birds in markets and shops during the winter due to the activity of the virus causing the disease in conjunction with low temperatures.
"Ramadan" advised citizens and housewives contacts for bird houses with orange and lemon to strengthen the immune system of the body to cope with the disease-causing virus and avian influenza.
Friday, 05 December 2014-03: 24 pm
Dr. Amr Kandeel, Undersecretary of the Ministry of health, Dr. Amr Kandeel, Undersecretary of the Ministry of health in Egypt wrote Dana railway announced Egyptian health and population Ministry emergency situation after the death of 7 and 14 people injured by the bird flu virus, a rise in the number of HIV infections registered since the beginning of the winter season, compared with last year's record 4 hits, which returns the Ministry officials higher incidence among the birds Ongoing, which arrived about 195 focus of provinces.
Said Dr. Amr Kandeel, Undersecretary of the Egyptian Ministry of health for preventive medicine, the Health Ministry has taken several measures to speed the discovery of cases of bird flu and prevent the spread of infection among close contacts of those cases, the examination in the hotbeds of infection detected the disease in birds, to detect any new cases, particularly that most spots discovered home, among bird breeders home, calls for the taking of such birds contacts especially if you experience symptoms of influenza infection, to analyse and verify positive or negative injury. Measures include also educate citizens how to deal properly with the birds, to prevent transmission of infection from infected birds to them, as well as confirmation of the need to go to the nearest hospital or health unit if you feel flu symptoms, such as cold temperatures, especially since most infected people resort to medical advice late, leading to high mortality with HIV this year, especially that of the deceased were from dangerous groups such as children, pregnant women and the chronically ill.
The Egyptian Health Ministry has taken several measures within health facilities, including vaccination of workers in hospitals and the viruses and emergency departments and intensive care against seasonal flu, to increase immunity against bird flu virus due to direct contact with infected or suspected of being infected, as well as the standardization of surveillance system for HIV in all hospitals, including police hospitals and military hospitals, with distribution help in reception and emergency departments including how to diagnose and treat disease, by activating the hotline number 105, 24 hours, to receive all communications Feedback citizens about HIV and how to prevent it