The World Health Organization has confirmed three human cases of H5N1 influenza in Vietnam this year and five in Egypt in February, according to the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. One fatality occurred in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta in a woman who had slaughtered infected birds. The other two cases in Vietnam, both non-fatal, occurred in south central and northeastern areas of the country.
The five cases in Egypt occurred in February in different parts of the country. All of the infected individuals were known to have been exposed to sick or dead poultry. A 53-year-old man is in critical condition, while the other victims are in stable to moderate condition. In Egypt, the outbreaks have been associated mostly with subsistence birds.
Vietnam recently experienced seven H5N1 outbreaks among poultry in four provinces, which veterinarians have traced to illegal shipment and processing as farmers sought to take advantage of rising demand for poultry surrounding the Tet holiday.