Egypt Swine flu deaths rise to 59
CAIRO: Egypt’s health ministry reported on Monday three more deaths from the H1N1 virus, or Swine flu, bringing the death toll in the country to 59. Health officials are worried that the winter months could bring a higher number of infections and death due to the cold.
The ministry said a 42-year-old man died of the virus in Beheira, 100 miles north of Cairo, adding that the man suffered from severe dyspnea and cirrhosis.
Ministry spokesman Abdel Rahman Shahine said a 48-year-old woman also died of the virus in Beni Suef, 90 miles south of the Egyptian capital, adding that she had suffered from pneumonia and dyspnea.
The third case reported was of a 27-year-old pregnant woman from Minya, 175 miles south of Cairo.
Since the virus first appeared in Egypt last June, the country has reported more than 4,700 cases.
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.”
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization announced the results of their research, which ended last Friday evening, confirming that there is no clear evidence that the anti-viral drug Tamiflu prevents complications of diseases, such as the seasonal flu or pneumonia, among the infected. The WHO said in a statement that it is still recommending the use of Tamiflu in the treatment of those “separately infected with swine influenza, or who continue to have symptoms for three days, or if their health deteriorated.”
The global health organization added that persons in good health, but infected with swine flu, do not need Tamiflu, since the vast majority of swine flu patients have recovered without any kind of medical care.
**additional reporting by Mohamed Abdel Salam