New AI cases in Egypt and Indonesia
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced that
an Egyptian woman has H5N1 avian influenza, while officials in Indonesia have
reported another human case there.
The 39-year-old Egyptian woman had recently slaughtered and plucked about a
dozen ducks after illnesses and deaths started occurring in the flock. The
patient, who lives about 60 miles northwest of Cairo, fell ill on 30 September
and was hospitalised 4 October. Reports indicate that the woman has been treated
with oseltamivir and that her family is also being tested for the virus.
The woman is Egypt's 15th avian
case-patient and the first since May. All of the country's previous
cases, six of which were fatal, occurred between late March and May.
The Egyptian case brings the WHO's
global avian flu count to 253 cases.
In Indonesia, health ministry official Joko Suyono has reported that a
67-year-old woman from West Java province is infected with the H5N1 avian flu
virus. The woman is from Bandung, where at least one other avian flu case
occurred recently, but it is unclear whether there is any connection between the
cases. A 20-year-old Bandung man who died on Sep 27 tested positive for H5N1,
and his 23-year-old brother died of similar symptoms three days earlier but was
never tested. Their 15-year-old sister was hospitalised at about the same time,
but tests indicated she had seasonal flu.
The woman was hospitalised on 2 October, two days after she experienced
flu-like symptoms. Suyono said that contact with diseased poultry was the likely
cause of the woman's infection.
If the current case is confirmed by the WHO, it will be Indonesia's
Indonesia has been criticised for its reluctance to initiate bird culls to
stop the spread of the disease - but the country says it does not have enough
money to compensate farmers for the losses.
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