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Emerg Infect Dis. 2010 Jul;16(7):1101-7. doi: 10.3201/eid1607.091695.

Zoonotic transmission of avian influenza virus (H5N1), Egypt, 2006-2009.

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Ministry of Health, Cairo, Egypt.


During March 2006-March 2009, a total of 6,355 suspected cases of avian influenza (H5N1) were reported to the Ministry of Health in Egypt. Sixty-three (1%) patients had confirmed infections; 24 (38%) died. Risk factors for death included female sex, age > or = 15 years, and receiving the first dose of oseltamivir >2 days after illness onset. All but 2 case-patients reported exposure to domestic poultry probably infected with avian influenza virus (H5N1). No cases of human-to-human transmission were found. Greatest risks for infection and death were reported among women > or = 15 years of age, who accounted for 38% of infections and 83% of deaths. The lower case-fatality rate in Egypt could be caused by a less virulent virus clade. However, the lower mortality rate seems to be caused by the large number of infected children who were identified early, received prompt treatment, and had less severe clinical disease.

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