Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Watching Egypt Again . . .


The flow of information out of the Egyptian government on their bird flu situation was cut abruptly in January of 2015 during the height of largest human outbreak ever recorded, one which saw at least 160 cases (see EID Journal: H5N1 In Egypt) between Nov 2014- May 2015.

While the World Health Organization now lists 354 cases and 117 deaths in Egypt, the Egyptian MOH's  Avian Flu FAQ - which hasn't been updated in more than two years - still weighs in with only 180 cases and 65 deaths 

Of course, no one really knows the true extent of human infection, as only those sick enough to be hospitalized, and lucky enough to be tested, are ever confirmed. The EID Journal study, referenced above, suggests there has been a serious underreporting of cases over the past 10 years. 

The authors base that assumption on a limited serological study that found antibodies for H5 in roughly 2% of the people tested. They wrote:
 If this seroprevalence were to be extrapolated to the entire poultry-exposed population in Egypt, the true number of infections would amount to several hundred thousand. These figures are even more striking when it comes to human infection with H9N2 viruses. The seroprevalence of H9N2 antibodies detected in the same cohort study (19) ranged from 5.6% to 7.5%, whereas just 1 case of H9N2 infection was reported.

An even more recent study (see PLoS One: Serological Evidence Of Human Infection with Avian H7 in Egyptian Poultry Growers), adds yet another avian virus to the mix.

Between a largely silent MOH, and a government clamp down on reporting by the Arabic press, we only have a partial sense of Egypt's bird flu status.  The last confirmed human H5N1 infection in Egypt was announced in mid-May

While media reports are only rarely acknowledged by the Egyptian MOH, today we have at least two Arabic sources reporting a recent human`bird flu' infection in Giza.

No subtype is provided, and as these are unofficial sources, I'll add the very strong caveat that we need to take these reports with a very large grain of salt.  

Gate veto  - 4 hours ago

Dr. Ashraf Ismail, director of the Directorate of Veterinary Medicine in Giza, said it was the discovery of cases of human infection with avian influenza district Sagal village center and the city of Osim.
The «Ismail» told the «veto», said he was notified of the Directorate of Veterinary Medicine in Giza, for the transfer of infected case and isolate it and take the necessary medical procedures followed in such cases.
He pointed to the Director of the Directorate has been coordinating with the Unit for Combating epidemics and the Directorate of Health, to clean up the area around the place of infection and reservation on the birds around him, and disposal of veterinary procedures used to ensure ...

Arab News  - 3 hours ago
Wednesday 14-09 - 11:30

Dr. Ashraf Ismail , Director of the Directorate of Veterinary Medicine in Giza , said he was recently discovered cases of a single human disease bird flu , and that the status of Osim district Sagal.
He said Ismail had been to take all sanitary measures towards the case, as has been the withdrawal of samples for 21 farm to make sure that all infected birds inside of influenza disease, pointing to extract 277 the number of slaughtered 275,000 birds permit.
The Directorate of Veterinary Medicine in Giza, the government decided to open the massacres free of charge to citizens during Eid al - Adha period, and the indiscriminate slaughter ...

Hopefully we'll see some kind of follow up from the WHO or FAO in the coming days.

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