Villagers in Egypt’s Qena test positive for dengue: Health ministry

Ahram Online , Tuesday 18 Jul 2023

Villagers in El-Aliqat village in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Qena have tested positive for the mosquito-borne dengue virus, the Ministry of Health announced in a statement on Tuesday.

Truck spraying efforts have itensified in Upper Egypt s Qena after reports of the spread of dengue fever. Press photo


The ministry tested blood samples from individuals exhibiting symptoms, including high fever, and took environmental samples of water, sewage, mosquitoes, and mosquito larvae.

Some of the blood samples tested positive for the virus, but the ministry did not specify how many.

​All of the cases so far have displayed mild symptoms and are receiving treatment at home, with no fatalities or hospitalizations reported, according to the ministry.

The ministry also noted that some of the patients have connections to other cases that showed similar symptoms in the Red Sea governorate's towns of Safaga and Quseer.

Speculation set in last week after dozens of people in Upper Egypt began reporting symptoms, including fever, body aches, and headache.

Russia even tightened health and quarantine protocols on flights arriving from Egypt.

Presidential Adviser for Health Affairs Mohamed Awad Tag El-Din clarified on Monday that the disease is dengue fever and not an "unidentified disease."

In TV remarks, he attributed the spread to the recent hot weather and stagnant water bodies, which provide ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Health authorities in Qena have intensified truck spraying of insecticide in response.

The World Health Organisation states that dengue has no specific treatment, and symptoms are usually managed with pain medicine and last up to seven days.

Egyptian citizens suffering from the disease, also known as breakbone fever, are advised by Tag El-Din to self-treat with Paracetamol and avoid other pain medications like ibuprofen.

​Egypt may resort to using a dengue vaccine in the future, the presidential adviser added.

Although most people who are infected with the virus show mild or no symptoms, the virus can be deadly on rare occasions.

According to the World Mosquito Program, an estimated 390 million dengue infections take place around the world every year, causing the death of up to 36,000 people.

The disease is currently endemic in over 100 states in Africa, the Americas, South-East Asia, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Western Pacific with cases in Asia representing around 70 per cent of all cases worldwide, according to WHO.

Dengue is not common in Egypt, but it is not unheard of. In 2017, several hundred cases requiring hospitalization were documented in the Red Sea governorate city of El-Qusair.

Short link: