Egypt health ministry urges calm amid illness in Qena, extensive testing underway

Ahram Online , Monday 17 Jul 2023

The Ministry of Health has reported that the total number of individuals affected by a mysterious disease causing fever and fatigue in Qena, Upper Egypt, has reached 67 as of today.

Doctors examining patients in a clinic. Photo: Egypt Health Ministry facebook page.


Assistant Minister of Health for Preventive Medicine Affairs, Amr Qandil, stated in a televised interview that all cases have exhibited mild to moderate symptoms, with no severe cases or hospitalizations reported thus far.

Symptoms reported by those affected include body aches, fever, and, in some cases, vomiting and nausea, according to Qandil.

A medical convoy has been dispatched to Qena to closely monitor the patients, with three additional convoys scheduled to arrive starting Monday.

Head of Al-Qus city in Qena, Qadry Al-Shieeny, revealed that 50 medical vehicles are currently conducting checks in the Najaa Sandal area of El-Aliqat village to assess the condition of the patients.

In remarks to Al-Ahram, Al-Shieeny emphasized the presence of health officials and personnel in the village, urging the public not to panic as the disease is treatable.

In recent weeks, numerous individuals in El-Aliqat have reported cases of this sickness, leading to speculations of a potential outbreak of dengue fever.

Earlier today, the Ministry of Health issued a statement acknowledging the reported symptoms among citizens in El-Aliqat and stated that samples from affected individuals and the surrounding environment are being collected for further analysis.

Water samples have been tested and found to be clean, according to Qandil.

He further noted that the symptoms observed in the villagers resemble those of various other diseases, including those transmitted by mosquitoes.

The minister's assistant urged citizens to cover all water containers to prevent mosquito-borne diseases and announced that the village will be sprayed twice daily to control the mosquito population.

Dengue fever is a vector-borne disease transmitted through infected mosquito bites, and in severe cases, it can be life-threatening, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The disease is not common in Egypt, but is not unheard of.

In 2017, several hundred cases requiring hospitalization were documented in the Red Sea governorate city of El-Qusair.

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