The number of H5N1 cases continues to rise in Egypt, with the nation’s 24th case of the year (and 20th case in the past 6 weeks) announced by multiple media sources this morning. While Egypt has certainly seen higher yearly totals in the past, this represents an unusually high number of cases over such a short time period, and comes after two years of very few reported cases from the region.
Although concerning, so far most of the cases have occurred among household members in close contact with home-raised poultry, and we’ve seen no signs of human-to-human transmission of the virus.
Adding concern are reports yesterday from Egypt’s civil-war torn neighbor (see 4 H5N1 Deaths In Libya) of outbreaks in both Tobruk and Tripoli. Details are scant at this time, but we should learn more in the coming days.
Typical of today’s media reports on Egypt’s 24th case, is this one from http://onaeg.com.
Ministry of Health
Ministry of Health announced a confirmed case of virus-infection N5H1 "bird flu," the old lady of 25 years of the province of Minya.
She explained Health said in a statement that the symptoms began on December 21, 2014, and went sick to seek treatment Fever Hospital Minya dated December 23, 2014 where he was suffering from "fever, cough, and pain in the body," and was suspected case of bird flu disease bird flu, and isolated in the same day general and in stable condition.
Health and added that bringing the total number of cases of bird flu in 2014 so far, 24 cases of "8 cases of healing, and 6 cases under treatment, and 10 deaths
We are also watching a number of media reports on additional suspect cases hospitalized in Minya and elsewhere, but given this is cold & flu season, we often see these cases test negative for avian flu and positive for something more mundane.