Monday, March 16, 2015

Egypt’s H5N1 Bird Flu Beat Goes On . . . .

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Credit WHO

 

# 9835

 

Despite the fact that Egypt is more than 4 months into the worst H5N1 outbreak since the virus emerged in the mid-1990s, with at last count – 115 human cases since November 1st – we get very little day-to-day information about the crisis.  

 

Unfortunately, no news doesn’t always equal good news.

 

The Egyptian Ministry of Health stopped reporting publicly on a regular basis in late January (see The Silence Of The Egyptian MOH), and the media’s coverage has been both sparse and confused.


The last `official’ number we received was from the World Health Organization’s March 3rd update, which showed 88 cases and 26 deaths for the year (see below), based on reports provided to them by the Egyptian MOH. 

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Excerpted from WHO Case Count Table – March 3rd


Exactly how current Egypt’s last notification to the WHO was, and how many cases have been detected since this update, are open questions. Based on media reports, new cases continue to emerge, but details are often absent and the YTD totals remain murky at best.


Sharon Sanders, whose conservatively curated 2015 Egypt H5N1 Case List had  94 cases and 26 deaths as of this morning, but also has several `probable's’ in waiting. 

 

Today, however, the FAO published notifications of 17 recent human H5N1 cases from Egypt (see below), that appear to be recent enough not to have been included in the last WHO update.  Some of these, Sharon believes she’s already captured on her list, but others appear to be `new’.


As these FAO updates lack identifying details, like age and gender, accurately matching them up to the FluTracker’s list isn’t possible at this time, but it is a pretty good indication that Egypt’s bird flu outbreak continues to steamroll along.

 

Sharon estimates that perhaps 9 of these cases will end up added to her list, once the WHO publishes a usable line listing. 

 

All of which puts Egypt’s probable YTD case count something north of 100, and growing.  Shattering Vietnam’s record year (2005) which saw 61 cases and 19 deaths, and Indonesia’s 2006 total of 55 cases and 45 deaths.

 

The `good news’, as far as we can tell from FAO, WHO, and Egyptian statements is that these human infections appear to be caused by direct contact with infected birds. 

 

A couple of small `family clusters’ have been mentioned in recent months, but there’s been nothing at this point to indicate the virus is transmitting easily, or efficiently, from person-to-person.

 

Below you’ll find a listing of today’s FAO notifications:

 

  1. 16/03/2015: Egypt - Influenza – Avian Confirmed Influenza - Avian in Kafr-el-sheikh, for human
  2. 16/03/2015: Egypt - Influenza – Avian Confirmed Influenza - Avian in Al Jizah (giza), for human
  3. 16/03/2015: Egypt - Influenza – Avian Confirmed Influenza - Avian in Al Daqahliyah (dakahlia), for human
  4. 16/03/2015: Egypt - Influenza – Avian  Confirmed Influenza - Avian in Ash Sharqiyah (sharkia), for human
  5. 16/03/2015: Egypt - Influenza – Avian  Confirmed Influenza - Avian in Al Buhayrah (behera), for human
  6. 16/03/2015: Egypt - Influenza – Avian Confirmed Influenza - Avian in Al Buhayrah (behera), for human
  7. 16/03/2015: Egypt - Influenza – Avian Confirmed Influenza - Avian in Ash Sharqiyah (sharkia), for human
  8. 16/03/2015: Egypt - Influenza – Avian Confirmed Influenza - Avian in Al Minya (menia), for human
  9. 16/03/2015: Egypt - Influenza – Avian Confirmed Influenza - Avian in Qina, for human
  10. 16/03/2015: Egypt - Influenza – Avian Confirmed Influenza - Avian in Qina, for human
  11. 16/03/2015: Egypt - Influenza – Avian Confirmed Influenza - Avian in Al Buhayrah (behera), for human
  12. 16/03/2015: Egypt - Influenza – Avian Confirmed Influenza - Avian in Al Minya (menia), for human
  13. 16/03/2015: Egypt - Influenza – Avian  Confirmed Influenza - Avian in Al Qalyubiyah (kalyoubia), for human
  14. 16/03/2015: Egypt - Influenza – Avian Confirmed Influenza - Avian in Al Qahirah (cairo), for human
  15. 16/03/2015: Egypt - Influenza – Avian Confirmed Influenza - Avian in Al Jizah (giza), for human
  16. 16/03/2015: Egypt - Influenza – Avian  Confirmed Influenza - Avian in Al Buhayrah (behera), for human
  17. 16/03/2015: Egypt - Influenza – Avian  Confirmed Influenza - Avian in Ash Sharqiyah (sharkia), for human

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