Published Date: 2007-02-06 15:50:54
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Avian influenza, human (31): Egypt
Archive Number: 20070206.0469
AVIAN INFLUENZA, HUMAN (31): EGYPT
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Mon 5 Feb 2007
From: Mary Marshall <email@example.com>
Source: Reuters Foundation AlertNet [edited]
WHO confirms Egyptian girl died of bird flu
An Egyptian girl has died of H5N1 bird flu, bringing the number of
confirmed deaths from the disease in Egypt to 12, a World Health
Organisation official said on Mon 5 Feb 2007.
"There was a case, 17 years old, from Fayyoum. She tested positive
... Unfortunately, she passed away," said Hassan el-Bushra, regional
adviser for communicable diseases surveillance for the World Health
Organisation. Bushra said the girl was believed to have been infected
after coming into contact with sick and dead birds.
The new case brings to 20 the number of people known to have been
infected with bird flu in Egypt, which has the largest known cluster
of human cases outside Asia. Twelve have died and 8 others have
recovered since the virus 1st surfaced in Egyptian poultry a year
ago. Bushra said the girl who died had started showing symptoms of
the illness in late January , but initial tests indicated she
had seasonal flu. Later tests were positive for the deadly H5N1 bird
flu virus. Neither Bushra nor the state news agency MENA, which also
reported on the death, said when exactly the girl had died.
Most people infected in Egypt had been in contact with poultry kept
at home. Bird flu initially caused panic across the country and did
extensive damage to the poultry industry. The Egyptian government
said last month [January 2007] that poultry production had recovered
to 1.8 million birds a day, just short of the 2 million produced
before the outbreak.
The latest death came several weeks after the World Health
Organisation said 2 people who died of bird flu in Egypt in December
 had a strain of the bird flu virus that has shown "moderate"
resistance to the frontline antiviral Tamiflu. Bushra said it was too
early to tell if the girl had been infected with the mutated strain,
which killed a factory worker and his teenage niece in Gharbia
province in the Nile Delta. Bushra said he was unsure whether the
victim had been treated with Tamiflu at all, since early tests for
bird flu were negative.
Known as "294S", the mutated strain was 1st detected in 2005 in a
teenage girl in Viet Nam who survived. The WHO reaffirmed last May
 that patients should get Tamiflu as a frontline treatment for
bird flu, but said in certain cases, doctors may consider using it
along with amantadine, an older class of effective flu drugs. Both
Tamiflu and Relenza belong to a new drug class called neuraminidase
inhibitors and can prevent the virus from infecting cells in the 1st place.
[Byline Cynthia Johnston]
[This death raises the global death toll to 166 and the total number
of confirmed cases of H5N1 avian influenza to 272. - Mod.CP]