CAIRO: The seventh H1N1 death was announced by the Ministry of Health Saturday as a 37-year old female from the outer suburbs of Cairo succumbed to pneumonia after contracting the virus Friday evening.
The woman was admitted to Abbasiya hospital Nov. 11 suffering from pneumonia and was kept on a respirator in intensive care before passing away due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Additionally, a further 113 new cases were confirmed, taking the total of H1N1 cases in Egypt to 2,607 up to Nov. 14 according to the Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC). The daily infection rate in Egypt is between 110 – 150 cases per day.
The student breakdown of cases was 927 in schools and 102 in universities. A total of 168 cases were still being treated in hospitals while 2,432 were said to have recovered completely.
The Ministry denied in an IDSC press release rumors circulated in the media that nurses had stolen the H1N1 vaccine to sell on the black market, stating that the vaccination was “tightly controlled, and that priority is given to pilgrims and sectors [specified] by the ministry.
Meanwhile, governor of Alexandria Adel Labib ordered the closure of six schools in the city – five in the Montaza district alone – after H1N1 cases were reported there. The schools will remain closed until further notice.
The IDSC release stated that school attendance at the national level was at 84 percent and that the rate of infections in schools was within the normal range. The Ministry stated that it has 4.8 million doses of Tamiflu with a seven-year expiration date.
The IDSC release also pointed out that the Ministry of Agriculture was still combating the avian flu, which also has a high incidence in Egypt. The main concern is the possibility of the two strains combining to mutate into a more dangerous hybrid strain.
The Health Ministry announced last week that it would stop issuing daily updates on the H1N1 virus starting Nov. 25, instead making weekly updates unless there is a resulting death or the closure of a school.