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December 28, 2006

WHO on the Egyptian outbreak

After weeks of quiet, the WHO website has reported on Avian influenza in Egypt. Here's the whole story, re-paragraphed for easier online reading:

The Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population has informed WHO of three new human cases of avian influenza A(H5N1) virus infection.

All three cases belong to one extended family in Gharbiyah province, 80 kilometres northwest of the capital city, Cairo.

While being transferred and cared for at the country's designated avian influenza hospital, a 30 year-old female, a 15 year-old girl and a 26 year-old male died. The most recent death occurred on 27 December. The cases reportedly had contact with sick poultry (ducks).

Clinical specimens from the three cases were tested positive for avian influenza A(H5N1) virus by Egyptian Central Public Health Laboratory.

The virus was also detected in specimens from two of the three patients by US Naval Medical Research Unit No.3 (NAMRU-3). The samples will be sent to WHO Collaborating Centre for further testing including virus characterization.

The Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population is conducting further investigations and has initiated public health measures. The other family members remain healthy and have been placed under close observation.

The WHO table on cumulative confirmed cases is here. We are now at 261 cases and 157 deaths, for a case fatality ratio of 60 percent. Ten of the 18 Egyptian cases have been fatal, for a CFR of 55 percent.

I'm having a hard time finding local English-language resources. The website of the Egyptian ministry of health and population doesn't seem to have an English version, and Egyptian media in English are not covering the story very intensively. If you run across anything related to these cases, please let me know.

Posted by dymaxion at December 28, 2006 10:24 PM

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