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Egypt continues slaughtering pigs despite protests
afrol News, 13 May - The Egyptian authorities have slaughtered more than 26,000 pigs while more than 130, 000 are waiting in a much contested claim of trying to control the deadly swine flu (H1N1) strain in the north African state, Ministry of Health has reported.
Earlier last week, the Egyptian government ordered the culling of more than 300,000 pigs as a precaution against the new H1N1 influenza strain first reported in Mexico. However the move was received with protests from mainly the minority Christians who felt the decision was a long awaited opportunity by the Egyptian authorities against them.
Local reports said more than three quarters of the herd of pigs in Egypt are in Muqattam in southern Cairo, the largest landfill in the capital, where the government has deployed armed forces to ensure the culling of pigs as farmers had mounted violent protests against the decision.
The Egyptian government's decision to sacrifice the entire pig population of the country, although it has not registered any cases of the influenza, has sparked protests from pig farms countrywide as well as international criticism that the move was anti-Christians who were the main consumers of pig meat and other pork products in the Islam dominated society.
According to the latest daily update on the outbreak of the H1N1, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said the number of confirmed cases rose to 5, 251, including 61 deaths in 30 countries. Yesterday's figure was in 4694 people infected, with 53 deaths.
WHO said that up until now, patients have shown a range of conditions that range from mild to serious.
In mild cases, patients have fever and sore throat, while in severe cases they develop pneumonia, which required mechanical ventilation.
The agency also noted that there are two groups involved in treating swine flu patients saying individuals with underlying diseases, such as low defenses, diabetes and even pregnancy are given an urgent attention.
However, it has expressed the greatest concern for children and previously healthy young adults as the most vulnerable group to the flu.
United States remains the country with the largest number of patients, where 3 people died, followed by Mexico with 56 deaths.
In other nations, including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama and Spain, there have been no fatalities.
By staff writer
© afrol News
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