Egypt is setting records, unfortunately the record is the most human cases of influenza A(H5N1) virus infection reported in one month since 2003.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported in a March 3rd Summary and Assessment that Egypt has seen 65 new laboratory-confirmed human cases of avian influenza A(H5N1) virus infection since January 26 (the date of the last WHO update). 13 cases resulted in death.
Of the 65 human cases of influenza A(H5N1) virus infection reported from Egypt, 29 had onset of disease in January and the rest had onset of disease in February. The cases were reported from 18 different governorates of Egypt. The age range of the 65 cases is from one to 75 years, with a median of 26 years, and 23% of the cases are under 10 years of age.
All cases had exposure to poultry or poultry markets, were hospitalized and all but one reportedly received treatment with antiviral medication, the WHO states.
Currently, there are reports of an increased number of outbreaks and detections of influenza A(H5N1) viruses in poultry in Egypt compared to previous months and compared to this month in previous years.
During the time period above, China was the only other country to report an additional H5N1 case.
From 2003 through 3 March 2015, 784 laboratory-confirmed human cases of avian influenza A(H5N1) virus infection have been officially reported to WHO from 16 countries. Of these cases, 429 have died (55%).