Apr 8, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – The recent series of H5N1 avian influenza cases in Egyptian children yet very few in adults has raised concern that some Egyptians may be getting infected without getting sick, according to a Reuters news report published today.John Jabbour, a World Health Organization (WHO) emerging diseases specialist based in Cairo, said the Egyptian government and the WHO are planning a study to find out if subclinical or asymptomatic cases have been occurring, according to the story.Jabbour said the occurrence of asymptomatic cases would be worrisome because it could give the undetected virus more time to mutate in human hosts, Reuters reported.”If there is any subclinical case in Egypt, the aim is to treat immediately to stop the reproduction of the virus,” he told Reuters. “Because whether [through] mutation or reassortment, this will lead to the pandemic strain.”The story said that all but two of the 11 Egyptians infected with H5N1 this year have been children under age 3 (the official WHO count for Egypt reached 12 today). In the same period last year, most of the seven Egyptian case-patients were adults and older children, the report said.Jabbour said the string of cases in children without similar cases in adults had prompted the questions whether adults were being infected without falling ill.He said the Egyptian study would involve testing the blood of people who were potentially exposed to infected birds but had not gotten sick.Tim Uyeki, MD, a medical epidemiologist in the Influenza Division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told CIDRAP News that limited studies in several countries over the past few years have found relatively little serologic evidence of asymptomatic or unrecognized cases of H5N1 virus infection.When the H5N1 virus first infected humans in Hong Kong in 1997, there were two studies in which investigators looked for H5N1 antibodies in people who had potentially been exposed to the virus, Uyeki said. One study focused on 293 poultry cullers, of whom only nine (3%) were found to have H5N1 antibodies, indicating past infection. In the other study, involving 1,525 poultry workers, an estimated 10% had antibodies.More recent studies “have either found no evidence of H5N1 virus infection or very low seroprevalence of H5N1 antibodies, around 1% or less, among different exposed populations,” Uyeki said. “Since H5N1 virus strains continue to evolve, there’s a continued need for these studies in people who have contact with poultry in countries where H5N1 virus strains are circulating in birds, since the risk of transmission to exposed persons could change.”Uyeki also noted that subclinical infection with seasonal influenza virus is known to occur. “But how that relates to H5N1 is unclear,” he said.See also: Jan 25 2008 CIDRAP News story “Cambodian study hints at subclinical H5N1 cases”
Mohammad Alsubaie | Daily TrojanAfter a dominant home stand this past weekend — comfortably defeating Santa Clara and Iowa State — the No. 12 women’s soccer team goes back on the road, looking to bolster its record against Loyola Marymount and San Diego. Loyola Marymount (4-2-2) also played a weekend home stand this past week, hosting UC Irvine and Long Beach State, and taking 4 points from those two matches. The Lions, just like Santa Clara last week, have experience playing ranked Pac-12 opposition, besting No. 25 Utah 1-0 at home. The Lions last played on Sunday against Long Beach State, edging out a 2-0 victory. Even though Loyola Marymount was outshot in this game, the Lions’ defense was stout throughout the entirety of the match, only allowing nine shots, with incredibly only one allowed in the second half. The Lions are a second-half team this year, with seven of their 10 goals scored coming in the last 45 minutes of the game. Due to the Lions’ solid defense and tendency for second-half surges, the Trojans must continue to capitalize on their opportunities in and around the penalty box and stay focused throughout the full 90 minutes if they want to continue the win streak.This mentality was shared by junior forward Leah Pruitt, who said the team needs to “keep going out strong, hard [and] getting goals early” in order to be successful this weekend.Friday’s game is a rematch from last year, when the Trojans comfortably beat the Lions 2-0 at home. However, it will not be so straightforward this time, as Loyola Marymount have three players with multiple goals this season, making it even more important for the Trojans’ back line to defend as a unit to successfully thwart a multi-pronged Lions attack. The Trojans are on the right track in this regard, only allowing one goal over the past two games, keeping a shutout against Iowa State. This defensive astuteness will have to be at peak performance if this impressive defensive record is to continue.San Diego (1-5-0) should be an easy test for the Trojans on Sunday. Their last game was also against Long Beach State last Friday, but the Toreros were on the wrong side of a 3-0 result. They were only able to muster three shots (one on goal) the entire game, while conceding 13 shots. This lack of defensive solidity at the back should be welcome news for the Trojans, who recently have had no problem getting shots off, bagging 21 against Iowa State. The Trojans’ front line needs to continue to apply pressure to the back lines of their opponents, as it will be likely that scoring opportunities will arise due to a shaky Torero defense.The Trojans will need to take advantage of a lackluster San Diego team that has only scored 4 goals in six games this season, while at the same time allowing 11 to hit the back of the net. The Toreros are not a second-half team, with all 4 of their goals this season coming in the first half of play. They have been outshot 90-34 this season while also having to make more than twice the number of saves as their opponents. While this picture might make it seem like it will be a walk in the park for the Women of Troy on Sunday, San Diego is still a team that can make a good game with elite-level competition, with their only loss against ranked opposition coming from No. 22 Texas A&M in August.As long as the Trojans remain focused in their mission to take six points from their two road games this weekend and continue to improve on their finishing in the final third, they will return home with an impressive four-game win streak ready to start Pac-12 play next weekend.