Egypt launches investigation after 67 people infected by unknown virus

67 infections have been recorded by the health ministry in the village of Al-Qus in the Upper Egyptian province of Qena.

Egypt's health ministry has sent a medical convoy to conduct tests and provide treatment. EPA
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Egypt's Health Ministry has sent a medical convoy to conduct tests and provide treatment after 67 people were infected by an unknown virus in a village in the south of the country.

The infections have caused mild to moderate symptoms in most cases, including high fever, bone pain and fatigue lasting three to five days in all cases, the health ministry said on Monday. Vomiting and nausea have also been reported in some cases.

The mildness of symptoms should put people's minds at ease, says the ministry.

A convoy was sent last week and another with three personnel is heading to the village on Monday afternoon, the ministry said.

The ministry has struggled to determine the illness in patients in Al-Qus village in the Upper Egyptian province of Qena as the symptoms are similar to those suffering from a cold or influenza viruses.

Samples have been taken from those thought to be infected as well as local water sources for testing, the ministry’s statement added.

Over the past few weeks, many residents in the Al-Qus have reported their symptoms to local health care units, leading experts to suspect an outbreak of dengue fever in the village. Tests conducted by the ministry on those infected have not confirmed its presence so far.

As the disease is borne by mosquitoes, residents have been asked to cover water sources and avoid contact with the insects until further tests are conducted.

According to the World Health Organisation, dengue fever typically presents flu-like symptoms lasting 2-7 days. Symptoms first emerge 4-10 days after an infected mosquito bite.

Common symptoms include high fever, accompanied by at least two symptoms such as headaches, pain behind the eyes, nausea and vomiting, swollen glands, joint, bone, or muscle pains.

Updated: July 17, 2023, 9:42 AM