CAIRO: Two Egyptian women passed away this weekend in the Delta from swine flu and bird flu, the Ministry of Health said.
The swine flu victim, a 30-year-old pharmacist from the city of Damanhour in the Beheira governorate, passed away on Thursday. She went to the hospital on Nov. 17 after developing severe flu symptoms including fatigue, sore throat, coughing, and pain in her bones and muscles.
Abdel Rahman Shahin, the official spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, announced on Saturday that a 30-year-old women in the governorate of Gharbia passed away from bird flu. Hers is the 37th death from bird flu in Egypt since the disease first appeared in 2006. It is also the tenth bird flu fatality to occur in Egypt in 2010.
Shahin also warned that the number of deaths related to swine flu may rise in the coming months, as the Ministry of Health expects there will be an outbreak of the H1N1 virus in the near future.
Last March the Central Operation Room of Crisis and Disaster Management at the Information and Decision Support Center for the Cabinet of Ministers announced that the number of people to contract swine flu in Egypt has nearly decreased in half.
The highest number of swine flu cases in Egypt was reported during the last week of December 2009 and the beginning of January 2010.
The swine flu virus started appearing again with 75 reported cases during late October and November; despite this, Shahin stated that it is nothing the public should fear.
In a press statement on Nov. 23, Shahin cited Director General of the World Health Organization Margaret Chan’s latest statement regarding swine flu: “As we enter the post-pandemic period, this does not mean that the H1N1 virus has gone away. Based on experience with past pandemics, we expect the H1N1 virus to take on the behavior of a seasonal influenza virus and to continue to circulate for some years to come. In the post-pandemic period, localized outbreaks of different magnitude may show significant levels of H1N1 transmission.”
Therefore, the Ministry of Health advises all citizens to take all the precautionary measures against the virus in the upcoming period, including washing hands, proper ventilation at workplace and home, covering the nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing, and avoiding crowded places.
The Deputy Minister of Health for precautionary affairs, Nasr El Sayed, said that they are monitoring swine flu in more than 450 hospitals around the country.