The new strain of the H1N1 virus – commonly known as swine flu – continued to spread in different governorates across Egypt, with two suspected cases appearing in Qalyubia. A suspected bird flu case also appeared in Beni Suef.
New strain of H1N1, bird flu spreads across Egypt’s governorates
Friday ,07 February 2014
In Qalyubia, the first suspected swine flu victim was a woman in Shubra Hars Village who was transferred to the hospital and quarantined.
The woman identified as Hala, 42, suffered from swelling of the heart muscle and tetraplegia and was transferred to a hospital pending test results by a laboratory.
Health Ministry Undersecretary in Qalyubia Zakariya Abd Rabo told Youm7 that the governorate was placed “under high alert to face the seasonal flu virus.”
Contagion control protocols have been activated entailing the provision of treatment and medical information about the virus at hospitals, Rabo said, adding that disinfectants and pharmaceuticals were distributed among the hospitals. He noted that all doctors and staff at hospitals received vaccinations.
In Beni Suef, a hospital received a 7-months-old baby who suffered from pneumonia, difficulty in breathing, and fever on Wednesday. The baby was treated for more than five days in a private hospital but his condition worsened.
Health Ministry Undersecretary in Beni Suef Ahmed Anwar told Youm7 that one of the two patients suspected of bird flu died, while the other one’s condition improved.
While in Assiut, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health Ahmed Abdel Hamid said the health directorate was working hard to face any new flu cases.
Hamid added that Assiut Governor Ibrahim Hammad toured all hospitals Wednesday to make sure that the vaccination against seasonal and swine flu was available.
A rift between the Ministry of Health and the Doctors Syndicate erupted following the spread of swine flu.
A heated argument took place between Ahmed Kamel, spokesperson for the ministry, and Secretary-General of the Doctors Syndicate Mona Mina during a phone call to Al-Hayah Al-Youm TV show Tuesday.
Mina accused the Ministry of Health of “deliberately underestimating the risks of contamination that doctors are subject to, in addition to issuing false statements.”
The syndicate issued a press release Monday condemning the ministry’s lack of rigorous measures to protect citizens and doctors from bird flu contamination, after four deaths among doctors were reported, one of which was confirmed to be a result of bird flu infection. The other deaths have been suspected to be a result of swine flu, the syndicate said.
Kamel responded by saying a bacterial contamination was behind one of the doctors’ death, and that another died of eclampsia.
Kamel added that 60 percent of Egyptians are at risk of catching the seasonal flu virus and that the ministry was currently in touch with the World Health Organization to contain seasonal flu.
Minister of Health Maha Rabat said in a Wednesday press statement, “There is no seasonal flu epidemic in Egypt or in the world.”
Rabat also said the rate of flu infections was normal for this time of the year; the only increase is in the H1N1 rates.
She added that 24 of the 195 identified H1N1 cases this winter were fatal.