Global Alert and Response (GAR)

Avian influenza - situation in Egypt - update

The Ministry of Health and Population of Egypt has notified WHO of two cases of human infection with avian influenza A (H5N1) virus.‪

The first case is a 2 year-old female from Cairo Governorate. She visited Helwan Fever Hospital as an outpatient on 30 October 2011 with symptoms of influenza-like-illness (ILI). The case was confirmed by RT-PCR at the Central Public Health Laboratory through periodic testing of samples collected from ILI outpatients from sentinel ILI surveillance sites. The epidemiological team investigated the case after confirmation of the laboratory test. Retrospective investigation through data collected from her family identified a positive history of exposure to backyard poultry. Samples from the case have been sent to the US Naval Medical Research Unit No. 3 (NAMRU-3) for further sequencing.

The second case is a 31 year-old male from Fayium governorate. He developed symptoms on 1 January 2012, received oseltamivir on 14 January 2012 and is still hospitalised under the critical care unit. The case was confirmed by the Central Public Health Laboratory, a National Influenza Center of the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance Network.

Epidemiological investigations into both the cases indicated that they had exposure to backyard poultry.

Of the 159 cases confirmed to date in Egypt, 55 have been fatal.

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