Epidemic and pandemic-prone diseases | Outbreaks | Avian influenza | Avian influenza A(H5N1) in Egypt, 14 March 2015

Avian influenza A(H5N1) in Egypt, 14 March 2015

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H5N1_updateThis infographic provides an overview of the H5N1 situation in Egypt as of 28 February 2015. Click here to view.14 March 2015 – The Ministry of Health and Population of Egypt has notified WHO of an increase in laboratory-confirmed human cases of avian influenza A(H5N1) in recent months. This increase in reported human cases has been observed since the beginning of November last year. 

In November 2014, the number of human cases officially reported by the Ministry of Health and Population of Egypt was 10, followed by 24 cases in December. The number of cases reported in January 2015 was 45 and in February a total of 36 human cases were reported. This rise is the biggest ever in avian influenza A (H5N1) infections reported in humans in Egypt since the first human infection was reported in the country in 2006. 

Since its introduction in Egypt in 2006, avian influenza A (H5N1) virus has been circulating in domestic poultry in the country and has been the source of sporadic human infections. Almost all cases of H5N1 infection in humans have been associated with close contact with infected live or dead birds, or H5N1-contaminated environments. Though the number of cases reported is higher compared to last year, the increase in the number of cases does not change current risk status of avian influenza A (H5N1) virus that is currently circulating at the animal-human interface in the country.

Since it was first reported in March 2006, a total of 301 cases of avian influenza A(H5N1) infections in humans have been reported, including 108 related deaths (case–fatality rate=35.8%). 

Table 1. Cumulative number of laboratory-confirmed human cases of avian influenza A(H5N1) reported to WHO, 2006-2015 

Year

Cases

Deaths

2006

18

10

2007

25

9

2008

8

4

2009

39

4

2010

28

13

2011

40

15

2012

11

5

2013

4

3

2014

29

13

2015 (end of February)

99

32

Total

301

108

Total number of cases includes number of deaths.
WHO reports only laboratory-confirmed cases.
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Upon an invitation from the Ministry of Health and Population of Egypt, a joint technical mission of WHO/Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)/World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)/US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/US NAMRU-3 was conducted in Egypt from 08 to 12 March 2015 to assess the public health risk associated with the recent spike of outbreaks in poultry as well as human cases of avian influenza A (H5N1) in the country. The mission, assessing the current situation in both animal and human health sector, provided both short, mid and long-term recommendations in order to step up appropriate containment measures to reduce the circulation of avian influenza A (H5N1) virus at the animal-human interface and also to minimize the risk of transmission to humans.  

Related links

Avian influenza A (H5N1) situation update, 28 February 2015. WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean.

Influenza at the human-animal interface, monthly risk assessment summary, 3 March 2015

 

 

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