- (Reuters) -- Human-to-human transmission of the H5N1
[avian influenza] virus between a brother and sister in Egypt cannot be
ruled out yet, although both siblings seem to have been exposed to sick
birds, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tue [3 Apr 2007].
- A 4-year-old boy, from Qena province around 670 km (400
miles) south of Cairo, was among 3 human cases announced by the Health
Ministry at the weekend. His 6-year-old sister was one of 2 children diagnosed
with the virus infection late last week. "Human to human transmission
cannot yet be ruled out. We are continuing investigations," WHO spokesman
Gregory Hartl said in Geneva. "But we know all the children had exposure
to sick or dead birds."
- In all, 5 Egyptian children have been reported as being
in hospital in stable condition. "Egypt has an extremely good record
of child survival of H5N1 virus infection," Hartl added.
- The highly pathogenic H5N1 virus is not easily transmissible
between people, although there has been evidence of several clusters involving
human-to-human transmission over the past 3 years, according to the WHO.
Egypt has the highest number of confirmed human bird flu cases outside
Asia. Of the 32 confirmed cases in the country to date, 13 have been fatal.