Emergencies preparedness, response

Avian influenza – situation in Egypt - update 2

3 April 2006

Samples from four patients, previously announced by the Egyptian Ministry of Health as infected with the H5N1 avian influenza virus, have now been tested in a WHO collaborating laboratory in the United Kingdom. Positive H5N1 results were obtained for all four patients. WHO has updated its cumulative number of cases accordingly.

The four cases were described in WHO updates issued on 20 March and 29 March. Two of the patients died. Two patients fully recovered and have now been discharged from hospital.

A fifth patient, previously announced by the Ministry of Health, remains hospitalized. External diagnostic confirmation of this patient, an 18-year-old girl from the Kafr El-Sheikh governorate, is pending.

On 2 April, Egyptian authorities announced that an additional two residents of Kafr El-Sheikh, a 6-year-old girl and her 18-month-old sister, were shown to have H5N1 infections in local laboratory tests. Further diagnostic confirmation is pending. Both girls remain hospitalized in stable condition.

Egypt is the ninth country to report laboratory-confirmed human cases in the current outbreak, which began in Viet Nam in December 2003. Four of these countries reported their first human cases this year: Turkey, Iraq, Azerbaijan, and Egypt.