Egypt ranks second in regional H1N1 rates

The government admitted Monday that Egypt has the second highest rate of H1N1 infections in the Middle East. The announcement came as Egypt marked its 33rd death from the virus, which is also known as swine flu. Nine cases were also discovered in Minya, Monufiya, and Suez.

The latest death from the virus is 35-year-old Ihab Mikhael Wahba from Minya, who became the 32nd H1N1 death according to official Ministry of Health data. The ministry did not recognize the death of a child victim to be due to H1N1.

The cabinet’s Information and Decision Support Center affirmed that Egypt is in the second rank among the region’s states hit by the pandemic. Saudi Arabia occupied the top of the list with 9355 infected cases and 81 deaths. Jordan and Palestine came in the third and fourth positions respectively.The ranking was conducted by the World Health Organization’s Eastern Mediterranean office, which released a report yesterday saying that 43 percent of the total number of victims were at schools and universities.

Of all the H1N1 cases in Egypt, the most, 22 percent, were in Cairo, while the rest were spread throughout 23 governorates. The report also showed the results of a field survey measuring citizens’ awareness of the disease and means of protection in the period between 29 May and 16 July of this year. The survey showed that 49.7 percent of the citizens were aware of the new flu’s symptoms. The survey also showed a marked difference between awareness in cities, where it was 61.1 percent, and rural areas, where it was 39.3 percent.

The report said that the total number of infections globally as of 8 November 2009 was 603,000, of which 100,000 were in the Arab world.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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