The number of human H5N1 avian influenza cases in Egypt have seen a spike during the past month with 17 cases reported in the north African country since mid-November.

H5N1 avian influenza/CDC
H5N1 avian influenza/CDC

The latest case, number 21 according to the Egyptian Health Ministry (computer translated), is in a 42-year-old individual from Sohag Governorate who first exhibited symptoms on Dec. 19.

The patient was treated with Tamiflu and is reported in good and stable condition.

The patient owned a farm that raised birds and there is evidence of dead birds on the farm.

Currently Egypt has seen 21 cases of the zoonotic infection this year–eight patients recovered from their illness, four are currently hospitalized and receiving treatment and nine have died.

The Egyptian Health Ministry is advising people who deal with poultry to exercise caution and prudence when dealing with birds that show symptoms of the disease and to take preventive action to prevent such infection.

The MOH offers the following recommendations: Cover your mouth and nose when handling poultry, wash hands with soap and water after handling birds and keep children away from birds.

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