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EGYPT: Six doctors suspended after second swine flu death

September 8, 2009 | 11:12 am


Six doctors from two provincial hospitals have been temporarily suspended and subjected to investigation following the second death related to the so-called swine flu in Egypt.

Pousy Morsi on Aug. 30 became the second Egyptian to die from H1N1 virus infection. 

Family members claim that neglect and misdiagnoses from doctors at both hospitals were the main reasons behind her death.

"First, doctors in Belkas suspected she was suffering from bird flu. She was later transferred to Mansoura Hospital," Pousy's father said. "But she kept deteriorating and their prescribed medication wasn’t working. They underwent further tests before finding out she had swine flu two days later. It was already too late."

In the statement issued confirming Morsi's death on Sunday, the Ministry of Health announced that the 27-year-old woman contracted the virus from her husband, who recently returned to Egypt from Saudi Arabia.

Nonetheless, Pousy's spouse said that he was never diagnosed with swine flu.

"I was examined at Cairo Airport upon my return and doctors said I didn’t suffer from swine flu. I have had no symptoms of the virus up until now," the victim's husband said.

"How could she have caught the flu when she doesn’t even leave home? I need to know the real reason behind my wife's death," he added bitterly.

According to the Ministry of Health, 784 swine flu cases have been registered in Egypt and 716 of the victims have fully recovered.

The country's first swine flu death came in July, when a 25-year-old woman was infected while on a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

The incident prompted health ministers in the Arab world to ban anyone under 25 or older than 65, as well as those with chronic illnesses, from making the pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

-- Amro Hassan in Cairo

Photo: Egyptians take precautions in an attempt to avoid catching the so-called swine flu. Credit: Associated Press