| 30 November 2023, Thursday |

Russia ramps up security protocols for flights from Egypt after outbreak of mysterious disease

Russia has tightened its sanitary and quarantine measures for flights from Egypt as the latter is witnessing the outbreak of an unidentified disease, said a report by Russian news agency TASS, on Monday (July 17) citing officials from the country’s sanitary watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor.
Over the weekend, the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population issued a statement after residents of Qena governorate, in upper Egypt reported a mysterious disease which has affected about 250 people in the al-Aleqat village, reported the Egypt Independent.
The cases were first reported on the Egyptian television channel, MBC Masr by prominent journalist Amr Adib, on Saturday, who said that 200 people have been infected by an unidentified disease with symptoms like high fever, headache, fatigue, and stomach pain.

According to Egyptian health officials, patients’ symptoms do not have a uniform pattern and are mild to moderate, therefore do not require hospitalisation. Some of the other symptoms noted by the authorities were fevers, bone pain, and fatigue which lasted between three to five days.

What could have caused it?
The Egyptian health ministry, in its statement, also confirmed that its teams from the epidemiological surveillance were sent to investigate the reports and samples were taken from both the patients as well as their environment.

Additionally, they are also using preventive and therapeutic medicine. The Egyptian officials also noted that these symptoms are common to many diseases such as cold and influenza, gastroenteritis and fever, which can spread due to high temperatures.

However, they can disappear with rest, fever reducers, and by keeping yourself hydrated, said the officials, according to the media report.

Russia takes measures against ‘unidentified disease’
“In light of the current situation, Rospotrebnadzor has tightened sanitary and quarantine controls with respect to flights from Egypt, including using the Perimeter automated information system,” said the Russian sanitary watchdog, on Monday, as quoted by TASS.

According to the Rospotrebnadzor, symptoms noted by the Egyptian authorities resemble those of dengue fever. The Russian agency also said that they are in contact with Egyptian officials about the situation as well as international organisations to learn about the disease and its risks of trans-border proliferation, and preventive and epidemic measures.

The Russian watchdog also issued an advisory for Russian tourists planning to visit Egypt asking them to wear clothes that “maximally protects the skin,” use mosquito repellents, and put mosquito nets over doors and windows to avoid getting insect-borne infectious and parasitic diseases.

Dengue fever is caused by the dengue virus, which is transmitted via Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the Rospotrebnadzor noted. It added dengue fever cannot be caught from being close to an infected person, it can be contracted only from the bite of an infected mosquito.

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