Qalioubiya deaths not caused by virus: Egypt health ministry

Mahmoud Aziz , Thursday 23 Mar 2017

The three victims were initially believed to have died of food poisoning

Health Minister
Egypt's Health Minister Ahmed Emad El-Din (Al-Ahram)

Head of the Egyptian health ministry's Preventive Medicine Department Amr Kandil said on Thursday that a number of recent deaths of unknown causes in Qalioubiya governorate where not the result of a virus.

On 15 March, the health ministry said that three people died of suspected food poisoning in the Nile Delta governorate of Qalioubiya.

On the same day, 11 people in Greater Cairo's Shobra district were admitted to fever hospitals after suffering from ailments doctors could not identify, according to local media reports.

The patients, who belong to two related families, were hospitalised for suspected food poisoning after displaying symptoms including intestinal inflammation, vomiting, severe diarrhoea and stomach ache, Kandil said.

Kandil stressed that medical examinations have not revealed any type of viral infection, adding that the results of tests for possible food poisoning are pending.

Food poisoning is not uncommon in Egypt, where basic public hygiene standards are poorly enforced.

This week, more than 3,300 students from eight schools were hospitalised for suspected food poisoning after eating school meals in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Sohag.

Earlier in March, around 200 students were diagnosed with food poisoning after eating meals at two schools in the southern governorate of Minya.

Days later, 14 students in Upper Egypt's Assiut suffered food poisoning, prompting the health ministry to order a halt on the distribution of school meals in the governorate until food safety tests could be carried out.

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