Egypt reports more H1N1 cases

The World Health Organization recently confirmed the existence of four more cases of H5N1 influenza, or avian flu, in Egypt.

Three of the cases were widely reported on by local media, but new information about their care and their previous exposure to poultry are emerging, according to CIDRAP News.

Details on the fourth case are also forthcoming. It is known that the fourth case, the one not previously reported on, is a 56-year-old woman from the Sharkia governate who fell ill on December 22. She was hospitalized and treated with Tamiflu and then discharged on December 30 in stable condition.

A probe into how the woman contracted the illness is underway and her previous exposure to poultry remains unreported, CIDRAP News reports.

These cases bring the total number of Egyptians affected by H5N1 to 119 with 40 reported deaths. Indonesia remains ahead of the rest of the world in H5N1 cases and deaths, but Egypt is now tied with Vietnam for the highest number of cases. Vietnam’s total deaths stand at 59. Egypt led the world in cases in 2010.

The patient profile of new Egyptian cases is somewhat different from the typical pattern of the past few years. Women and children, the groups with the most contact with poultry in Egypt, have been hit the hardest overall, but lately men have been suffering as well, according to CIDRAP News.