First swine flu death in Egypt

The Middle East registered its first death due to H1N1 2009 after a 25-year-old Egyptian woman returning from Umrah, the lesser Muslim pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, died in hospital on 18 July after testing positive for the virus, according to the Egyptian health ministry.



The woman arrived in Egypt on 16 July and was admitted to hospital in the Nile Delta province of Gharbia "suffering from rheumatic fever, lack of oxygen in the blood and a stroke", the health ministry said in a statement published by the official MENA news agency.



As of 20 July, Egypt registered 130 cases; about 56 percent are younger than 20 and 8.5 percent over 45, according to the health ministry website. The country also suffered the worst outbreak of avian flu outside Asia, claiming the lives of 27 people.



On 16 July, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced it would stop tracking pandemic H1N1 cases and deaths around the world. However, it would provide updates describing the situation in the newly affected countries.



dvh/at/mw