Published Date: 2006-03-29 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Avian influenza, human - worldwide (36): Cambodia, Egypt
Archive Number: 20060329.0948
AVIAN INFLUENZA, HUMAN - WORLDWIDE (36): CAMBODIA, EGYPT
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
In this update:
 Egypt - 2nd suspected avian influenza fatality
 Cambodia - mystery of circumstances of 5th death
Date: Tue 28 Mar 2006
From: Dr Alfonso J Rodriguez <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Source: Reuters Foundation AlertNet, Tue 28 Mar 2006 [edited]
A 2nd Egyptian has died of avian influenza virus infection, Egyptian health
minister Hatem el-Gabali said on Monday [27 Mar 2006].
An official from the World Health Organisation (WHO) told Reuters that the
latest victim of the H5N1 virus was a woman who had been in a critical
condition on a ventilator before her death on Monday morning. "This is the
second death due to [H5N1 avian influenza virus infection] in Egypt,"
Egypt's state news agency MENA quoted Gabali as saying.
The woman, from Qaloubiyah [governate], about 40 km (25 miles) north of
Cairo, contracted the disease after coming into close contact with infected
birds, Gabali said. The first fatality was from the same province
[governate]. [The Egyptian authorities] said on Sun 26 Mar 2006 that a
fifth person had [contracted] what appeared to be avian influenza but was
treated with Tamiflu (oseltamivir) -- the drug used to fight bird flu in
humans -- and was in good condition.
The government has previously said 4 people have been confirmed to have
been suffering from the bird flu virus, which was first found in February
among birds in Egypt. The first human infection appeared in mid-March. Two
of the Egyptians the government has said contracted bird flu were released
from hospital on Sun 26 Mar 2006 after responding well to treatment.
The first human death in Egypt from bird flu, which has spread across Asia,
Africa and parts of Asia, was reported on 18 Mar 2006. The dead woman was
30 years old and reared chickens at her home.
WHO officials say Egypt has a good bird flu monitoring network in place,
with officials present in every province, but public awareness of how to
avoid bird flu has to be raised. Most of Egypt's cases so far have been
among people who raise poultry in their backyards and many are not
following instructions from the Health Ministry, the officials say. Farmers
in Egypt, the Arab world's most populous state [2006 estimate of 71 million
inhabitants - Mod.CP], say the poultry market -- worth about 17 billion
Egyptian pounds (USD 3 billion) and supporting up to 3 million people --
has been devastated.
Alfonso Rodriguez, MD
[None of these suspected cases -- neither the 2 fatalities nor the 3
surviving cases (2 of whom have been discharged from hospital) -- has been
confirmed independently by a WHO-designated laboratory and they do not
appear in the WHO cumulative list of confirmed cases. - Mod.CP]
Date: Tue 28 Mar 2006
From: ProMED-mmail <email@example.com>
Source: CIDRAP News, Agence France Presse (AFP) report, Mon 27 Mar 2006
Investigation into the 5th fatality in Cambodia has yielded surprises,
according to AFP. The Cambodia authorities have found no sign of H5N1 virus
infection in birds in the village where a 3 year old girl died of avian flu
on 21 Mar 20006, the news service reported.
Although about 200 chickens and ducks reportedly died in the village before
the girl got sick, initial tests of poultry samples are negative for H5N1,
said Kao Phal, director of the Cambodian agriculture ministry's Animal
Health Department. Investigators were expanding their search for sick birds
outside her village, Phum Tuol Prich.
WHO yesterday voiced concern over the situation in Cambodia. Dr Michael
O'Leary of WHO told AFP yesterday that the fact that H5N1 has not been
found in poultry was troubling because it meant that people were
encountering sick birds of which the authorities were unaware.
Phal suggested that wild birds or their infected droppings could have
caused the girl's infection. Meanwhile, the number of possible human cases
in Cambodia seems smaller than authorities feared last week. So far 7 other
people from the victim's village who were suspected of having H5N1 virus
infection have tested negative, the head of Cambodia's infectious disease
department, Ly Sovann, told AFP.
An AFP story said 2 adults and one child who live in a neighboring village
were being treated for fever and respiratory problems at a Phnom Penh
hospital. They also tested negative for H5N1, AFP reported today. An
additional 5 people who had contact with people suspected of having H5N1
are being tested, Sovann told AFP.
[Another anomaly is that researchers who looked for mild or asymptomatic
human cases of H5N1 avian influenza following an outbreak in Cambodia in
2005 didn't find any, challenging the view that human cases have gone
undetected, according to findings presented last week.
The research described on 20 Mar 2006 at the International Conference on
Emerging Infectious Diseases in Atlanta implies that surveillance for human
cases might be more effective than some experts assumed. However, the
findings also imply that the case fatality rate for avian flu is higher
than some experts thought. See: Avian influenza, human - worldwide (30):
Cambodia, Egypt 20060322.0890. - Mod.CP]