Influenza A (H5N1) cases increasing in Egypt; risk to EU unchanged

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​Despite an increase in the number of influenza A (H5N1) cases in Egypt, there is no change in the level of risk to Europe posed by the disease.

​A continued increase of Influenza A (H5N1) cases in Egypt does not alter the level of risk posed by the disease to the general public in the EU, highlights ECDC’s updated Rapid Risk Assessment.

There has not been any observation of sustained human-to-human transmission, and influenza A (H5) viruses do not appear to transmit easily among people. Egypt has, however, reported an increase in the number of animal-to-human cases and the country now accounts for the highest number of human cases of the disease reported worldwide.

The updated Rapid Risk Assessment highlights that there is no risk for the general public in the EU as a result of the virus in Egypt. Travellers from the EU to Egypt should, however, avoid direct contact with poultry or poultry products.

Public health and veterinary authorities across Europe should remain aware that there is a continuing, but low, risk of the virus being introduced to Europe or of cases being imported, and should therefore maintain preparedness, the updated assessment concludes.