Swine flu makes it to Egypt, despite slaughtering 200,000 pigs and airport “cautions”.

I posted few weeks ago about how in Egypt, the government ordered the slaughter of pigs in order to prevent the swine flu. Now that I have left Egypt I get the news that the swine flu has been confirmed. Not only that, it was found in AUC dorms in Zamalek- the place I called home since January in my study abroad program at AUC. And it has been detected among two American students. The dorm has been under quarentine and classes have been suspended.

When I returned from my mini vacation to Istanbul, Turkey on May 27th, the airport was “secured” with this swine flu counter where men and women in white doctor’s suit and masks made us all fill out cards with our name, address, and phone number, and then made to go through temperature checks. We laughed. Why? Because everyone was pushing each other, no one kept track of which card corresponded with who went through the line, and it was basically, a chaos. The two students arrived in Cairo late May, like us, and apparently, the security measures have not worked (the two students came in at the end of May, like us).

This is quite surprising since I seemed to have just luckinly dodged it, and also because Egypt has tried, at least, to not have another widespread flu problem like it faced with the bird flu in 2006.   I really hope that this does not get out of hand in the most populated country of Africa, and one of the most populated cities in the world.


Kill all the pigs, now- the Swine Flu in Egypt

My mother told me last night that if things “don’t get better” in North America they are going to reconsider sending me back for the summer. I told her that was silly. She informed me that a Bengali man died of it in Canada, it was on their Bengali channel news, and therefore, it is officially bad news.

Egypt’s response?

Kill all the pigs.

Some may call this an “aggressive effort” but must realize that in this prominently Islamic region people do not eat pigs, so somewhere out there religious men and women are happy to have this take place. The UN has called the “massacre” of about 400,000 pigs in this country  “a real mistake”. These pigs are usually found in the poorer areas of Egypt taken care of the Coptic Christian minority in Cairo, usually raised in slum areas being fed the extra “garbage” food or leftovers.

“To handle the mass culling, army slaughterhouses were drafted into service to help overwhelmed pork slaughterhouses” was what Fox News had to say about that. Army slaughterhouses- this does not sound right, at all.


According to the Washington Post:

Confirmed sickened worldwide, 659

397 in Mexico, 161 in U.S., 51 in Canada, 15 in Spain, 13 in Britain, six in Germany, four in New Zealand,  two in Israel, France and South Korea, one each in Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Hong Kong, Denmark and the Netherlands.