Excerpted from WHO Case Count Table – March 3rd
In yesterday’s WHO H5N1 Update – Egypt I mentioned that the latest cumulative H5N1 human case count table had not yet been uploaded, although based on the summary narrative it appeared that we’ve had `roughly * 88 cases, and 24 deaths’ reported in Egypt since the first of the year.
Overnight a new chart has been published, and in it we find a slight adjustment to the 2014 numbers (10 deaths reduced from 11 in the last report), and a YTD total of 88 cases, and 26 deaths.
Since this outbreak began in November, Egypt has reported 115 cases and 36 fatalities, making this the largest single nation run of cases since the virus began is main assault in 2003.
Based on the reporting cut-off of March 3rd, delays in the Egyptian MOH forwarding reports to the WHO, and the sporadic reporting of new (suspected & confirmed) cases in the media, it is safe to assume these numbers continue to expand.
Unknown, too, are how many mild or moderate infections there might be that are never counted.
While the assumption is that some number of H5N1 cases go undiagnosed (or are misdiagnosed), and only the `sickest of the sick’ seek medical treatment and are counted, so far the evidence for there being a lot of missed `mild’ cases is fairly limited.
In PLoS One: Seroprevalence Of H5N1 Among Bangladeshi Poultry Workers, we looked at the paucity of evidence for missed cases, and ongoing debate over the actual burden of the disease, and the resultant CFR (Case Fatality Rate).
Currently the WHO, FAO, NAMRU-3 and other International agencies are in Egypt reviewing the situation and offering advice to the Egyptian government on controlling this outbreak.
We hope to get some sense of their findings in the next couple of days.