Since it first arrived in the Middle East just over a decade ago, avian H5N1 has devastated Egypt's poultry sector, and has produced hundreds of human infections and more than 115 deaths.
The chronic use of older, often ineffectual vaccines (see 2012's A Paltry Poultry Vaccine) helped to spread H5N1, and likely contributed to the Emergence Of A Novel Cluster of H5N1 Clade 188.8.131.52 in 2014.
In addition to H5N1, LPAI H9N2 is also endemic in Egypt's poultry, and while Egypt hasn't reported it to the OIE - earlier this month in PLoS One: Serological Evidence Of Human Infection with Avian H7 in Egyptian Poultry Growers - we saw circumstantial evidence of avian H7 in Egypt's poultry.
Testing, surveillance, and reporting out of Egypt has been seriously lacking in recent years, and so it is very difficult to know exactly what the situation is there.
But earlier this month, in HPAI H5 Worries From Egypt's Poultry Sector we saw reports of greatly increased poultry deaths, and concerns that HPAI H5N8 might have arrived in Egypt as well.
After launching an investigation, on June 9th Egypt's Ministry of Agriculture announced Initial Tests were Negative For H5N8, but the cause of the excess mortality remained unknown.
Reports of unusual poultry losses have continued, and in the past few days Egyptian media have begun reporting on a new syndrome - الالتهاب الارتعاشى - which translates to Inflammation tremens, that is reportedly spreading rapidly.
The Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture's website - which is only rarely updated - has been unreachable for me the past few days, so I've not found any official statement on this syndrome.
We do have one of the many syntax-challenged Arabic media reports on this crisis posted this morning by Sharon Sanders of Flutrackers called Three crises besieging the poultry industry.
While it briefly describes the new `epidemic' it spends most of its time quoting an industry representative's criticisms of the MOA for a long list of shortcomings, including failing to provide effective vaccines.
A few excerpts follow:
The poultry sector faces severe crises since the beginning chapters since the emergence of the bird flu virus in 2006 caused the retreat despite industry achieved before it jumps the productivity, where production exceeds $ 2 million birds a day.
This year a new epidemic is severe tremens a disease do not have veterinary services special vaccines vaccines to meet it, leading to massive deaths of poultry farms.
Dr. Abdulaziz Al Sayed, head of the massacres and poultry Cairo Chamber of Commerce Division, that the current crisis is the most powerful crises experienced by the sector since the avian flu crisis in virus emerges in 2006, pointing out that the fundamental problem facing the sector is not the emergence of the virus and to reverse and return production to normal visits but other lies in the working methods in the sector, whether producers or the Ministry of Agriculture or government decisions, which resulted in many errors that made this sector groaning
He referred to the Ministry of Agriculture failed to work serums strong and vaccines that can cope with bird flu even though the settlers of the virus in Egypt for more than 9 years, they resorted to import vaccines and vaccines from abroad, which it increased both the emergence of inflammation tremens is a new virus does not have the body serum is able to confront what led to the deaths of large numbers of more than 40% of production
Given the vague nature of these reports, and the lack of comment by the MOA, it is impossible to know exactly what is going on with Egypt's poultry sector, beyond the fact they are dealing with a crisis.
But with Egypt's history of avian flu expansion and evolution, hopefully we'll get some clarification on all of this sooner rather than later.