Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Egypt: Avian Flu Deadlier than Swine Flu

On January 5th the World Health Organization (WHO) released new statistics regarding both H1N1 (swine flu) and H5N1 (bird flu).  According to these recent statistics, Egypt has the highest incidence of H5N1 infection outside of Southeast Asia, with a total of 119 cases and 40 fatalities.

Though the main concern of the country's hospitals has been the prevention and treatment of swine flu, the new data on the spread of avian flu indicates that H5N1 presents a much deadlier threat. Whereas swine flu has a 1.1% fatality rate, the H5N1 fatality ratio is approximately 30 times that of H1N1 (34% fatality).

The Egyptian Health Ministry spokesman, Abdelrahman Shahin has addressed recent outbreaks of H1N1 as a serious issue, and has suggested means of preventing further outbreak. However, in light of H5N1 lethality, perhaps new precautions should be implemented/ treatment of H5N1 should be prioritized.

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