A week ago, in In The Land Of Limited Press Freedom, The Internet Rumor Is King, I wrote about the chronic void of information from the Ministries of Health in Egypt and China regarding avian flu, and how media speculation tends to fill that void with often unreliable reports.
Although my primary focus was on avian flu, I mentioned several recent reports of suspected MERS cases in Egypt (see 3 citizens detained on suspicion of having to "Corona" in Dakahli) that had been trending in the Arabic media.
At the the time, I cautioned:
These symptoms are consistent with seasonal flu, pneumonia, avian flu, MERS, and a variety other respiratory viral infections, making MERS only one of many possibilities. The fact that fatalities have been reported does nothing to negate the possibility these are seasonal flu.
Well, it has taken a week, but the Egyptian MOH has published a statement on these three cases (2 fatal), indicating they all tested negative for MERS. Missing from this statement is any indication as to the cause of their illness and/or deaths.
Negative test results showed the injury 3 cases Dakahlia Balchorona... Egypt free of the disease so far.
Ministry of Health and Population has announced that the results of analyzes of samples taken from three cases in Dakahlia Governorate on suspicion of being infected with Corona, showed a negative HIV infection. The ministry confirms that Egypt is free completely of any cases of infected Koruna so far, the ministry said that once suspected of wounding three cases infected with Corona, samples were taken and sent to the central laboratories of the ministry for analysis and to make sure the injury or not, until the tests results were negative showed infected with Corona , noting that one of these cases had been held hospital issued Mansoura, while the other two cases Vkanta women detainees dead immersion Central Hospital.
The ministry said on its work constantly to activate the control and surveillance of the disease Koruna, as one of the diseases that cause inflammation of the respiratory severe, is also working to raise awareness among health service providers for the early detection of the disease if it appears, and treatment of cases, as well as preventing the spread of the disease.
It is worth mentioning that the Koruna respiratory viral disease, can cause a range of diseases, ranging from common common cold and respiratory syndrome severe acute, and symptoms include "fever, cough, shortness of breath," has pneumonia infection occur, and infection spreads through droplets during coughing, sneezing or touching the patient tools or contaminated surfaces, with the possibility of transmission through contact with infected camel disease, or drinking camel milk heat-treated. The main methods of prevention of corona virus, follow the methods of infection control in hospitals, to maintain hygiene, avoid contact with HIV-infected camels, as well as to make sure that camel meat well cooked and milk Mbstra or boiled before eating
Source media center
(Continue . . .)
The Arabic media has a bad habit of interchangeably using `bird flu' and `swine flu' in their reporting, making them particularly difficult to decipher and unreliable. Which is why I don't routinely use them in this blog.
For the past week we've continued to see a steady parade of `suspected' bird flu reports from across Egypt, often followed by official denials in the press, but thus far the MOH website has remained silent on these cases.
Most of these cases are likely seasonal flu, but as we saw last year, the Egyptian MOH has a tendency to hold bird flu infection information close to the vest (see Revisiting Egypt’s Murky H5N1 Battle).
Meaning that if there are any H5N1 cases in the mix, we may not get official confirmation any time soon.