Egypt H5N1 avian flu cases rise to 20
With the addition of the newest case of human H5N1 avian influenza in a woman from Sohag governorate, this brings the total cases of the lethal zoonotic infection to 20 in Egypt, according to a Masrawy.com report (computer translated).
The report notes that a 42-year-old woman from Sohag exhibited symptoms on Dec. 4 and was admitted to the hospital fro treatment about one week later. She was diagnosed with double pneumonia and later recovered.
The investigation into the case reveals the woman was exposed to backyard birds.
The total number of cases of human H5N1 avian flu in 2014 in Egypt is now 20 cases (8 cases have recovered, 3 cases are currently under treatment and 9 succumbed to the disease).
H5N1 is a type of influenza virus that causes a highly infectious, severe respiratory disease in birds called avian influenza (or “bird flu”). Human cases of H5N1 avian influenza occur occasionally, but it is difficult to transmit the infection from person to person. When people do become infected, the mortality rate is about 60%, according to the World Health Organization.
According to the WHO, the primary risk factor for human infection with the virus appears to be direct or indirect exposure to infected live or dead poultry or contaminated environments. They go on to say there is no evidence to suggest that the H5N1 virus can be transmitted to humans through properly prepared poultry or eggs. A few human cases have been linked to consumption of dishes made of raw, contaminated poultry blood. However, slaughter, defeathering, handling carcasses of infected poultry, and preparing poultry for consumption, especially in household settings, are likely to be risk factors.
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