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Egypt Reports 1st Swine Flu Case


Egypt's health minister has announced the country's first confirmed case of swine influenza A-H1N1.

In remarks carried by state news media Tuesday, Health Minister Hatem el-Gabali said a 12-year-old American girl showing flu symptoms arrived in Cairo Monday on a flight from Europe. The minister said she tested positive for the virus and is being treated. He said she is in good condition.

The girl's family is of Egyptian origin, and she was traveling to Egypt with her mother to spend her summer holiday there. Her mother has not tested positive for the disease.

The case marks the first confirmed case of swine flu on the African continent.

When the global swine flu outbreak began, Egyptian authorities ordered the slaughter of all 300,000 or more pigs in the country, a decision that sparked riots in the mainly Christian community where pigs are raised. The United Nations condemned the pig cull as an overreaction, since this outbreak of swine flu has been spread by humans far more than by pigs.

Egypt has been hit hard by a different flu strain in recent years. The H5N1 bird flu virus has killed 27 people in Egypt since 2006, when the disease first arrived in the country. It also has devastated Egypt's domestic poultry industry.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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