Published Date: 2007-03-26 00:00:00
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Avian influenza, human (58): Egypt, China (Hong Kong)
Archive Number: 20070326.1046
AVIAN INFLUENZA, HUMAN (58): EGYPT, CHINA (HONG KONG)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
In this update:
 Egypt - 27th case
 China (Hong Kong) - H9N2 case
 Egypt - 27th case
Date: Sun 25 Mar 2007
From: Mary Marshall <email@example.com>
Source: Reuters Foundation AlertNet [edited]
Egypt: Girl with avian influenza is 27th human case
A 3-year-old Egyptian girl has contracted bird flu, the 27th case
among humans in Egypt, the state news agency MENA said on Sunday [25
Mar 2007]. The girl, Hajer Mohamed Awadallah, was taken to hospital
in the southern town of Aswan on Thu 15 Mar 2007 and has tested
positive for the deadly virus, it said, quoting the Ministry of Health.
13 Egyptians have died from the disease since the 1st outbreak in
Egypt in February 2006, one of the highest death ratios for any
country in the world. The last death, of the 21st case, occurred on
15 Feb 2007.
The girl went to hospital with a high temperature and other symptoms
of bird flu, MENA stated. Because she had been in contact with
domestic poultry, she received Tamiflu, the standard treatment for
the symptoms of the disease, it added. "Her condition is stable, and
an epidemiological study is under way on all of her family," it said.
Most of the deaths in Egypt have come about because the patients
concealed their contacts with poultry, leading to delays in the start
of Tamiflu treatment, health officials say.
Out of the 27 cases in Egypt, 13 have died, 12 have recovered
completely, and 2 are under treatment, MENA said; 2 other recent
cases have occurred in the province of Aswan, but the Health Ministry
said they were not related.
[Thanks also to Naomi Bryant, Information Officer, National Travel
Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC), & Joe Dudley, EAI Corp., for
similar reports. - Mod.JW]
 Hong Kong (SAR) - H9N2 case
Date: Sun 26 Mar 2007
From: Joseph Dudley <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Source: Shanghai Daily.com, Xinhua report [edited]
Hong Kong (SAR): No onward human transmission of baby's bird flu
Health investigators in Hong Kong have ruled out the possibility of
human-to-human transmission in a case involving a 9-month-old baby
who developed a mild form of avian influenza [see: Avian influenza,
human: H9N2, China (Hong Kong SAR) 20070320.0975], Center for Health
Protection Controller Dr Thomas Tsang said. Speaking on a radio talk
show on Saturday [24 Mar 2007], Dr Tsang said genetic sequencing
studies of the virus isolated from the 9-month-old girl -- H9N2, a
mild strain of bird flu -- showed all genes from the virus are of
avian origin. Dr Tsang said the results suggested the virus was
directly transmitted from a bird to the girl without mingling [i.e.
exchanging genome sub-units or undergoing intra-segmental
recombination] with a human flu virus.
The baby had no contact with wild birds before the onset of the
symptoms. Dr Tsang said she may have contracted the virus at a
neighborhood wet market in Hong Kong's New Territories, which she
visited several times with her family.
He also reported that tests on respiratory specimens taken from a
healthcare worker and 3 children who were in the same cubicle in the
United Christian Hospital with the baby in early March 2007 were all
negative for the H9 virus. Also, her family members have no symptoms,
Dr Tsang said, noting the case did not involve human-to-human transmission.
However, he said children with poorer immunity may be more
susceptible to the virus. H9N2 cases recorded in 1999 and 2003 also
involved children below age 5.
On average, samples of 40 000 flu cases will be tested a year for
surveillance. Dr Tsang said both H5 and H9 viruses are related to
birds and can be transmitted from birds to humans, but the H5 virus
has a mortality rate of 70 percent, while the H9 strain has symptoms
and mortality similar to common colds.
Joseph P. Dudley, Ph.D
Institute of Arctic Biology - University of Alaska Fairbanks
Department of Earth Science - University of Alaska Museum
[In Egypt, the detection of human cases of H5N1 avian influenza virus
has shifted from the northern (delta region) of Egypt to the south of
the country (the Aswan region). In neither location has there been
any unequivocal evidence of human-to-human transmission of avian
influenza virus infection. So far, this situation applies equally to
an avian influenza virus of low pathogenicity (the H9N2 serotype) and
viruses of the highly pathogenic H5N1 serotype. - Mod.CP]
[See Egypt map at
<http://www.egypt-travel-guide.de/imgs/egypt/map.jpg>. - Mod.JW]