Heat wave kills 40 people in 3 days: Egypt's health ministry

Ahram Online , Tuesday 11 Aug 2015

Egypt's health ministry denies that there has been any viral outbreak in the country

holiday-maker takes a shower at a beach in Suez
A holiday-maker takes a shower at a beach in Suez, 127 kilometers (79 miles) east of Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015 (AP)

The heat wave that Egypt has been facing over the last three days has been responsible for the death of 40 people and 187 others suffering from heat stress, mostly the elderly, a health ministry spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Hossam Abdel Ghafer said that in the past three days that the people most likely to suffer from heat stroke are the elderly and children, as well as people with heart disease and high blood pressure.

Abdel Ghafar also called on citizens to transfer any patient suffering from the symptoms of heatstroke -- especially if they have fainted -- to the nearest fever hospital. 

He also denied rumours that there has been a viral outbreak in Egypt, prescribing the deaths instead to the extreme heat.

"We do not have a viral outbreak in Egypt. What we have is a heat wave that can cause death like any other country in the world," Abdel Ghafar told Ahram Online.

He gave the example of a heat wave that killed over 1000 people in India.

"The ministry of health has been transparent since day one regarding the numbers of victims in the heat wave. If there is a viral outbreak, we will not hide it," he added. 

The health ministry also announced that ten patients from El-Khanka psychiatric hospital in Qalioubiya governorate have also died as a result of the heat wave.

The interior ministry reported on Tuesday that three detainees in Shubra El-Kheima police station died in custody due to the heat, over-crowding and a bad ventilation system.

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