An overview of the epidemic of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus in Egypt: epidemiology and control challenges
SUMMARY Emergence of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus in Egypt in mid-February 2006 caused significant losses for the poultry industry and constituted a potential threat to public health. Since late 2007, there has been increasing evidence that stable lineages of H5N1 viruses are being established in chickens and humans in Egypt. The virus has been detected in wild, feral and zoo birds and recently was found in donkeys and pigs. Most of the outbreaks in poultry and humans occurred in the highly populated Nile delta. The temporal pattern of the virus has changed since 2009 with outbreaks now occurring in the warmer months of the year. Challenges to control of endemic disease in Egypt are discussed. For the foreseeable future, unless a global collaboration exists, HPAI H5N1 virus in Egypt will continue to compromise the poultry industry, endanger public health and pose a serious pandemic threat.