Recombinomics Commentary

Red Sea Governorate announced a state of emergency and tightened control over the southern port cities of Safaga and the short to fight with any suspected cases of avian influenza.

The Secretary-General Majid Obwafattouh Sunday to maintain the continued control campaigns and tighter control of the port 85 km, which connects between Safaga and Qena to prevent the entry into or the circulation of live poultry to maintain and remove all the nests near the house to prevent the breeding of poultry and intensify campaigns Investigation of Supply and veterinary control of vehicles carrying poultry.

The above translation describes efforts to limit poultry movement between Safaga and Qena, Egypt.  Although no confirmed H5N1 infected poultry has been reported in Qena, a recently confirmed toddler (case #60) is from Qena and local media reports have described a large number of suspect cases and clusters hospitalized in Qena in recent days.

The events have precipitated a state of emergency in the area that involve tightened controls in Safaga, which is 85 km from Qena and signal additional concerns that the number of H5N1 in poultry and patients is significantly higher than the one confirmed toddler.

Antibody testing of sera collected from the hospitalized patients 3-4 weeks after symptoms should begin immediately.  The possibility of false negatives in PCR tests remains high, and antibody testing of recovered symptomatic patients in Egypt is long overdue.