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EGYPT: After avian flu, Egypt fears swine flu

April 30, 2009 |  7:02 am

 Swine flu

After being unsettled by years of battling deadly bird flu, the Egyptian government has decided to slaughter the nation's 300,000 pigs to prevent the spread of swine flu. The health ministry has reportedly put all hospitals and quarantine center on alert to slow the spread of the virus in Egypt.

Health minister Hatem Gabaly announced that no cases of swine flu had been discovered. There is fear around the globe that the new virus could turn into a pandemic.

The World Health Organization raised its alert level as the number of confirmed cases increased. Mexico has reported at least 150 deaths that may be due to swine flu. Schools there have been closed (pictured above) in an effort to stem the outbreak. Egypt already has its hands full as it struggles to control the bird flu. Egypt is the country most affected by bird flu outside Asia; 65 cases, including 26 deaths, have been reported since 2006.

Many observers place the blame for the proliferation of the avian flu on people’s ignorance of the lethal virus and their reluctance to give up their domestic poultry.

— Noha El-Hennawy in Cairo

Photo: A woman picks up her daughter from school in Mexico after the government extended the closure of schools nationwide. Credit: David Maung / AFP / Getty Images

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