The Egyptian Health Ministry reported (computer translated) on two new human H5N1 avian influenza cases, the 6th and 7th cases this year from the North African country. The last case reported in Egypt was in late September.

H5N1 avian influenza/CDC
H5N1 avian influenza/CDC

According to the ministry press release, the first case was reported in a three-year-old child from Minia Governorate. The epidemiology investigation shows the child was exposed to birds at home.  The kid is in good health and is currently admitted at Minya hospital for treatment.

The second case is a 19-year-old woman from Assiut Governorate. She was exposed to the slaughtering of sick birds. She is admitted to the hospital at Assiut University suffering from double pneumonia, and is currently on a ventilator in critical condition.

The number of confirmed human cases of avian influenza A(H5N1) reported to WHO since  2003 is 668, including 393 deaths (58.8% CFR).

Avian influenza is caused by those influenza viruses that mainly affect birds and poultry, such as chickens or ducks.

Clinical presentation of avian influenza in humans includes eye infection (conjunctivitis), flu-like symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches) or severe respiratory illness (e.g. chest infection). The more virulent forms [e.g. infection by avian influenza A (H5N1, H7N9 or H10N8) viruses] can result in respiratory failure, multi-organ failure and even death.

People mainly become infected with avian influenza through close contact with infected birds and poultry (live or dead) or their droppings.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page