Swine flu death toll rises to 44: Health ministry
Passant Darwish, Wednesday 12 Feb 2014
The number of swine flu deaths has almost doubled in less than 10 days, with 342 diagnosed with the virus to date

Forty-four people have died from the H1N1 virus since 1 December 2013 until now, health ministry spokesman Ahmed Kamel told Ahram Online.

Kamel said that 342 cases have been diagnosed with the virus, commonly known as swine flu, during the same period.

The resurgence of swine flu, which was at the heart of a pandemic during 2009-2010, comes in the wake of a stronger strain of seasonal flu.

According to Kamel, hospitals have received 577,000 flu cases in recent months, and it is expected that 24 percent of them will be diagnosed with seasonal flu.

Seasonal flu has severe respiratory illness among its symptoms, which is common in both seasonal and swine flu. The similar symptoms have caused alarm among many Egyptians.

On 4 February, the health ministry announced 24 deaths from swine flu, doubling the number of deaths in less than 10 days.

The ministry seemed to downplay the extent of transmission of the virus and only recently announced an official toll after criticism from the Doctors' Syndicate.

Swine flu is a relatively new strain of influenza.