Egypt's Minister of Health Ahmed Emad said that 199 out of a total 224 patients infected with dengue fever in the Red Sea governorate’s El-Qusair city have been treated and released from hospital, state-run MENA news agency reported on Tuesday.
There are currently 25 patients receiving hospital treatment for the virus in El-Qusair, which has a population of 65,000, Emad added, assuring that the disease is not endemic or of concern nationwide.
The minister, who recently inspected a new hospital in El-Qusair, said that the top priority is to discover the reason behind the spread of the disease in the Red Sea governorate.
Emad urged citizens to live their lives normally and let their children go to school, as dengue fever is transferred by mosquito, not from person to person.
The minister said that the source of the virus could be 300 Sudanese who arrived in El-Qusair one month ago, adding that they will be tested to determine if they carry the virus.
Earlier this month, Egypt's Ministry of Health dismissed reports of dengue fever cases in El-Qusair and Upper Egypt's Qena governorate, saying that the cases treated in hospitals varied between normal fever, headaches and muscle pain unrelated to the mosquito-borne disease.
Several news websites have reported cases of dengue fever, including the death of a child in El-Qusair city, though the health ministry has denied that there have been deaths from the virus, stressing that the disease is not deadly.
Health ministry spokesperson Khaled Megahed said that in the past, limited cases of the disease appeared El-Qusair city due to the presence of the virus-carrying mosquito larva known as Aedes aegypti in water reservoirs.
Megahed noted that 80 percent of city reservoirs are not casketed with plate covers, providing a fertile environment for the growth of the disease-transmitting mosquito larva.