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H5N1 Bird Flu Re-emerges in Egypt
Recombinomics Commentary

September 4, 2006

lethal H5N1 strain of the virus were found in a village in Sohag, 345 kilometers (215 miles) south of Cairo, on Tuesday and in Cairo on Thursday.

Health Ministry official Amr Qandil said four people suspected with symptoms of bird flu in the southern province of Sohag were tested negative and discharged from hospital

The above comments on two distinct outbreaks of H5N1 bird flu in Egypt last week signal an early re-emergence of H5N1 in Africa.  Last season the migration of H5N1 out of southern Siberia was first confirmed on October, although local residents near the Volga Delta in Russia and the Danube Delta in Romania reported that mute swans began dying in August.

The confirmation in Egypt this week coincides with acknowledgement of H5 in the Ukraine near Kiev, indicating that reports of H5N1 will begin earlier this year.  Similarly, low path H5N1 has been reported in three states in the United States, while last season August collections in southern Canada were not reported until November.

To date only one sequence from the Canadian infections from August . 2005 has been reported and the vast majority of the H5N1 isolates from Europe in 2005 and early 2006 have not been released.

The early reports of H5N1 this season may signal more transparent reporting and earlier release of sequences.

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