Health Minister Hatem el-Gabali receives H1N1 vaccine
The Health Ministry on Monday announced a new fatality as a result of the H1N1 virus, or "swine flu," bringing the total death toll in Egypt to six, including five women and one young boy whose death remains under investigation.
Amr Qandil, head of the ministry's Precautionary Department, said that the sixth case was that of a 23-year-old woman from Giza's Imbaba district.
"She wasn't suffering from any chronic diseases such as diabetes or high blood pressure," said Qandil. "But she contracted the virus on 28 October and had to be put on a respirator before passing away on Monday."
"The victim was Nour Hashem, a housewife and mother of two," Health Ministry Undersecretary Mustafa el-Maraghi said. "According to her family, she had not been feeling well the week before she was hospitalized."
Meanwhile, authorities closed three more schools in Cairo owing to six new reported cases of the virus. Another school in Helwan, south of the capital, was closed after a single case was reported, while one class in a school in Qalyubia, north of Cairo, was closed for the same reason. There are also 25 suspected cases among students at different schools in the Delta province of Gharbia.
In a related development, the Health Ministry began vaccinating some 150,000 hajj pilgrims against H1N1, meningitis and seasonal influenza.
According to Health Minister Hatem el-Gabali, five million doses of the vaccine are expected to arrive in Egypt by next March.