Saturday, June 13, 2009

AFP - Egypt swine flu cases rise to 18

CAIRO (AFP) — Egypt reported three new cases of swine flu on Saturday, as two children and a Colombian woman tested positive for the A(H1N1) virus, bringing to 18 the total.

A health ministry official told state news agency Mena the new cases were a 45-year-old Colombian woman and two children aged seven and eight, one of them a dual US and Egyptian citizen and the other a Canadian-Egyptian.

They arrived separately in Cairo last week from the United States, Canada and Colombia.

An American University of Cairo residence in the upscale neighbourhood of Zamalek remains under quarantine after six American students and one teaching assistant were found to have been infected with the virus last week.

The university, which has suspended classes, says courses will resume on Monday, when the quarantine is due to be lifted.

Egypt, which decided to cull its estimated 250,000 pigs after reports of outbreaks in other countries, has not taken any new measures since the World Health Organisation announced a swine flu pandemic on Thursday.

Authorities check travellers at airports and quarantine those who exhibit flu symptoms.

Egypt reported its and the continent's first case on June 2, when a 12-year-old girl travelling from the United States tested positive.

The country is already battling the H5N1 strain of bird flu, which has killed 27 people since it was first reported in 2006.

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