This morning we’ve two reports of human infection from the H5N1 virus, one of which has proved fatal.
First stop, is Egypt, where the World Health Organization has announced their 3rd case of 2012, a 1 year-old girl from Gharbeia governorate who is recovering.
24 February 2012 - The Ministry of Health and Population of Egypt has notified WHO of a new case of human infection with avian influenza A (H5N1) virus.
The case is a one year-old female from Gharbeia governorate. She developed symptoms on 14 February 2012 and was admitted to a hospital on 15 February 2012, where she received oseltamivir treatment upon admission. She is in good medical condition.
Epidemiological investigation into the source of infection is ongoing. Preliminary investigations indicate presence of backyard poultry in her area of residence.
The case was confirmed by the Central Public Health Laboratories; a National Influenza Center of the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance Network.
Of the 160 cases confirmed to date in Egypt, 55 have been fatal.
Meanwhile, the Indonesian Ministry of Health has posted a notice regarding the bird flu infection, and death, of a 12-year-old boy from Bali.
February 24, 2012 | 1:33 pm
Ministry of Health through the Directorate General of Disease Control and Environmental Health, announced a new case of H5N1 have been confirmed by the Center for Basic Biomedical and Health Technology, Balitbangkes.
Case on behalf of DWM (male, 12 years) resident of Badung, Bali. Dated February 11, 2012 fever symptoms develop, see a doctor in private clinics and hospitals. On February 16, 2012 the case was being treated RS. Because of increased shortness, on February 20, 2012 the case was referred to the Referral Hospital Bird Flu, but eventually the case died on February 21, 2012.
Epidemiological investigations have been conducted in the home and neighborhood environment cases by the local Health Department with the results of risk factors is unclear.
With the increase of these cases, the cumulative number of bird flu in Indonesia since 2005 until this news was broadcast on 186 cases with 154 deaths.
Director General of Disease Control and Environmental Health Yoga Aditama Prof.dr.Tjandra as the focal point of the International Health Regulations (IHR) has been informed about the case to the WHO.
This is the time of the year when we expect the greatest number of human infections from the H5N1 virus, and so the announcement of four cases this week is hardly unexpected or alarming.
The extremely high fatality rate in Indonesia continues (100% in 2012, 83% in 2011), while in Egypt this year, all known cases have survived.
Last year, Egypt’s fatality rate was 38%.
The H5N1 virus remains poorly adapted to human physiology, and so far remains primarily a threat to poultry and wild birds.
That could change of course, as the dozens of strains and clades around the world continue to mutate and evolve. So we watch these cases with great interest, looking for any signs that the threat has changed.