Six more human H5N1 avian influenza infections have been reported in Egypt, according to individual reports to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) compiled and posted by Avian Flu Diary, an infectious disease and emergency preparedness news blog.
The FAO notifications don't contain any details other than location and dates observed and reported. Cases are from four different governorates: Beheira (3), Damietta (1), Qena (1), and Kafr el-Sheikh (1). Two of the Beheira cases are from the same city, with observation dates that are 3 days apart. The observation dates for the cases range from Mar 29 through Apr 6, and all of the cases were reported on Apr 18.
The new cases appear to push Egypt's H5N1 total so far this year to 143 cases, according to a case list maintained by FluTrackers, an infectious disease news message board.
Egypt is experiencing an unprecedented surge of H5N1 cases that started in November, which pushed Egypt to the top of the list for the country with the most cases.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said initial lab tests don't show any changes in the virus that would make it more transmissible from birds to humans. It said that the increase may be fueled by a combination of factors, including increased H5N1 circulation in poultry, an increasing number of households with small farms and backyard flocks, lower risk awareness, and weather conditions that favor virus survival.