*** UPDATED ***: The Egyptian MOH statement may be read here.
The Egyptian Ministry of Health’s website
hasn’t been updated yet (they sometimes lag a day or two behind), but multiple Egyptian media sources are reporting on that country’s 11th and 12th H5N1 case of 2015.
According to this report, the first is a 3 year old who has recovered and has been discharged from the hospital, while the second case is a 65 year old who has passed away.
After 24 months during which Egypt only reported a total of 8 H5N1 infections, the past two months has seen a sharp uptick in cases, with 37 cases reported since mid-November. Yesterday the World Health Organization released a statement (see WHO H5N1 Update & Risk Assessment) saying they have not detected any genetic changes in the virus that would account for this spike, adding that:
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.
Last week, you may recall, we saw a report via CIDRAP that the FAO had detected Mutations In H5N1 Virus From Egyptian Poultry that are associated with mammalian adaptations, but no such changes had been detected in two samples taken from humans.
This report from Al-Masrawy is typical of the media reports this morning.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015, 1: 20 pm
Central laboratory analysis results confirmed by the Ministry of Health reported two new confirmed بڤيروس H5N1 (bird flu), the first case of a child of three years of beheira governorate and led the recovery, and he left the hospital, the second case of a 65-year-old from Asyut province and died in a hospital, Assiut.
Bringing the total number of cases of bird flu during the 2015 date, 12 cases (3 cases of healing, 7 cases under treatment, two deaths) and the cases that occurred during the 2015 is (two from each of the provinces of Minya-Minufiyah, Cairo, and one each from the provinces of East-West-kalioubia-Aswan-conf – Lake).
It called 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 infection such as covering 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.