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Monday, December 31, 2007


WHO confirms H5N1 cases in Egypt, Vietnam
Dec 28, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) today confirmed three human cases of H5N1 avian influenza in Vietnam and Egypt, one of which was fatal, raising the global H5N1 count to 346 cases with 213 deaths.
In Vietnam, a 4-year-old boy from the northern province of Son La died of an H5N1 infection Dec 16, the WHO said. He fell ill Dec 7 and was hospitalized on the 11th. His case was first reported by news services on Dec 26.
The boy's source of exposure is under investigation, the WHO said. His close contacts are being monitored, and all remain healthy so far, the agency reported.
Two women in Egypt are being treated for H5N1 disease, the WHO said. One is a 50-year-old from Domiatt governorate who was hospitalized Dec 24 and is in critical condition. The other is a 22-year-old chicken seller from Menofia governorate; she was hospitalized Dec 26 and is in intensive care but recovering, the WHO reported.
"Both women had contact with sick and dead poultry prior to illness onset," the agency said. News services first reported their cases yesterday.
Vietnam has had 101 confirmed H5N1 cases with 47 deaths, while Egypt has had 41 confirmed cases, 16 of them fatal.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Another death highlights avian flu threat in Egypt

16th victim of human bird flu infection reported since H5N1 virus first detected in Egypt.
-Another human victim of bird flu - the 16th in Egypt - has been registered in the country, underlining the fact that the deadly H5N1 strain of avian flu, which was first detected in Egypt in February 2006, has not disappeared.
-The Ministry of Health said on 26 December that a 25-year-old woman had died the previous day in a village near Beni Souef, about 100km south of Cairo. The woman, who had handled infected birds at home, was admitted to hospital on 21 December suffering from pneumonia and respiratory problems.
-This was the 39th case of human bird flu infection reported since the H5N1 virus was first detected in the country. It was the first human death from bird flu since June 2007, when a 10-year-old girl died. In Egypt, most victims of avian flu have been women and children because of their role in raising domestic fowl.
-Nakhla Amany, regional planning assistant for avian flu in the Cairo office of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), told IRIN that in this specific case the Egyptian health authorities had taken the right measures. “They immediately took the victim to hospital once they detected the symptoms of avian flu and they conducted the right tests.”
-She regretted, however, the delay by the victim’s family in seeking medical help. The family is being tested to see if anybody else has been infected.
Egypt has taken a number of stringent measures to combat the spread of the avian flu virus, including banning the raising of birds in towns and their transportation between provinces, and controlling where they are raised and sold.
A programme to raise awareness of the risks posed