We’ve had a busy avian flu weekend in Egypt, with the MOH issuing multiple statements which have added 7 new H5N1 cases, bringing the total so far for 2015 to 20 cases, and 4 deaths. Ten cases remain under treatment.
DOH Announces population of infection three cases and certain بڤير and H5N1 (bird flu), the first case of a 47-year-old from Asyut province, the general situation is critical and has been reserved in a hospital intensive care of Asyut died on 19 February 2015, the second Lady of the 36-year-old from Cairo is still under treatment in hospital Cairo specialist, the third case is a child of 6 years of Minya province, is still under treatment in hospital Assiut University. Bringing the total number of cases of bird flu during the 2015 date 20 (6 cases of healing, 10 cases under treatment, and 4 deaths).
Therefore 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 healing rates of disease and reduces the mortality and Health Ministry advised people who deal with poultry to be careful and prudent when dealing with birds that show symptoms of the disease and the need to take preventive action to prevent such infection cover The mouth and nose 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.
Source: Media Center
Despite Egypt’s unusual surge in cases reported (49 cases in just over 2 months) - which shows no signs of abatement - we’ve not seen anything in these (admittedly, sparse) MOH reports to suggest community spread of the virus.
For now, at least, infections appear to derive from direct contact with infected birds.
The question becomes: Why this year, so much more so than in previous years?
We really don’t have an answer, although earlier this month in CIDRAP: FAO Reports Mutations In H5N1 Virus From Egyptian Poultry, we looked at an FAO report that had found some signs suggestive of `mammalian adaptations’ in viruses collected from poultry, but that were not present in two human samples tested.
Although all influenza viruses evolve over time, preliminary laboratory investigation has not detected major genetic changes in the viruses isolated from the patients or animals compared to previously circulating isolates. The increase in reported human cases is likely a consequence of several factors. These includes increased circulation of influenza A(H5N1) viruses in poultry, lower public health awareness of risks in middle and upper Egypt and seasonal factors such as closer proximity to poultry and longer survival of the viruses in the environment because of cold.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s Ministry of Health continues to distribute additional supplies of Tamiflu to the Governorates, and reassures that they have the resources to deal with a much larger outbreak. This from youm7.
Monday, January 19, 2015 - 7:10 Dr. Amr Kandil, Assistant Minister for Health Affairs Preventive Medicine, Ministry of Health Dr. Amr Kandil, Assistant Minister for Health Affairs Preventive Medicine, Ministry of Health Wrote Walid Abdul Salam Dr. Amr Kandil, Assistant Minister of Health Affairs of Preventive Medicine, Ministry of Health and Population, the ministry distributed in Cairo and other governorates 250 thousand explosive tablets and syrup of the drug "Tamiflu", special treatment of bird flu on hospitals and health care units, referring to the provision of 700 thousand explosive tablets and syrup for children and adult stores ministry.
Dr. Amr Kandil, Assistant Minister of Health Affairs of Preventive Medicine, Ministry of Health and Population, in particular for the "seventh day" statements, he has been supporting and providing prevention supplies for infection control through the distribution of 100 million Mask on hospitals and health units, pointing out that the strategic reserve the Ministry of sampling kits, reagents and equipment sufficient for a period of 6 months
After a couple of years where H5N1 had seemingly taken a back seat to China’s emerging H7N9 virus, this granddaddy of avian flu viruses seems once more on the ascendant.
For now, H5N1 is primarily a threat to poultry, and to a lesser extent, those who work with or come in close contract with infected birds.
The concern for more than a decade has been is that over time the virus could adapt further to mammalian hosts and someday pose a pandemic threat to humans.