Egypt confirms 35th H1N1 death in country

Egypt confirms 35th H1N1 death in country

 CAIRO: Egypt’s health ministry on Wednesday confirmed two more H1N1, or Swine Flu, deaths in the country, raising the total to 35. The past two weeks has witnessed the worst outbreak of the virus, as health experts believe the change in seasons has contributed to the rise in risk.

A 14-year-old boy died of the virus in Beheira, 90 miles north of Cairo, the ministry said in a statement, adding that the boy suffered from dyspnea, fever and slipped into a coma before passing.

Another 21-year-old woman died in Qena, 300 miles south of the Egyptian capital. According to the statement, the woman suffered from pneumonia and heart problems, which led to her death.

The Egyptian ministry of health reported on Monday that one person has died as a result of the deadly H1N1 virus, or Swine Flu, pushing the total number of deaths from the virus to 32. The ministry, however, did not give further details of the person’s situation, simply saying that an additional Egyptian citizen has perished from the deadly flu virus.

The announcement of the 32nd death came as the ministry on Sunday evening confirmed a further 7 H1N1, or Swine flu, deaths in the country over the weekend. In a report published by the country’s official MENA news agency, the ministry said the latest victim was a 29-year-old woman from the northern Gharbiya governorate some 50 miles north of Cairo.

According to the ministry, the woman worked as a nurse in a local hospital and suffered from severe dyspnea.

In the Giza governorate, a 54-year-old woman was also reported to have died as a result of the deadly Swine flu, the ministry spokesman Abdel Rahman Shahine told MENA. He said the woman suffered from severe respiratory symptoms and had a history of cancer, which included chemotherapy and radiation after having had a hysterectomy.

It is unclear if this was to blame for her death.

Since the virus first appeared in Egypt last June, the ministry has reported over 3,800 cases of the flu, but despite the growing number of deaths, the ministry remains optimistic of the country’s outlook with the virus.

Amr Kandil, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health for Preventive Affairs, stressed that the virus has not mutated and said that the high rate of infection per day is not indicative of a mutation. However, Awad Mahgour, Director of Communicable Diseases at the World Health Organization stressed that the virus has already mutated in a number of countries, “but slowly and in a restricted context.”

Worries across the medical community are that if the swine flu virus somehow mutates with the avian influenza, the world could see a major flu pandemic that could kill millions.

**reporting by Mohamed Abdel Salam