In recent weeks, avian influenza has returned to news headlines in several countries. On November 19th, a new human case of H5N1 was confirmed in a woman from Hong Kong. This case marks the 21st case of human infection in Hong Kong SAR China to date. After laboratory tests confirmed the patient contracted the virus while visiting mainland China, and no additional cases were found, Hong Kong lowered its bird flu alert level from “serious” to “alert.”
Egypt reported a confirmed case of H5N1 in a female patient from Gharbia Governorate on December 4th. The patient died on December 2nd, becoming the 37th death in Egypt out of the country’s 113 cases to date. Most recently, on December 9th, a female from Bandung, West Java, Indonesia was confirmed as the latest human case of H5N1. Of the 171 cases of H5N1, avian influenza, in Indonesia to date, 141 have been fatal. Vietnam and South Korea both have recently reported avian influenza outbreaks in wild birds, however no human cases have been associated with either of these new outbreaks.