Education, health officials calm fears over viral flu among Egypt students
Flu-like symptoms have been spreading in Egyptian homes, especially among children resulting from a virus called Respiratory Syncytial Virus, according to the Egyptian Ministry of Health.
Hossam Abdel Ghaffar, a spokesperson for the ministry, told Arab News: “The preventive medicine sector recently swabbed a number of children, and the results of the survey showed that 73 percent of them were infected with the virus.”
He added: “People infected with RSV show symptoms of the common cold such as runny nose, headache, high fever, coughing, and severe fatigue.”
RSV is an old virus active in the autumn season and is contagious, but this year has appeared early among children, increasing hospitalization rates, Abdel Ghaffar confirmed.
“Things are under control, and the ministry always shares treatment methods,” he added.
Although more and more students have been missing school due to the virus, the Education Ministry confirmed that there was no plan to disrupt courses.
The Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education, which regulates study affairs in universities, said that there was no plan to cut the number of days during which students are required to attend classes.
With regard to mid-term exams that have already started in some colleges, a ministry spokesperson stressed that the exams were running on schedule.
RSV is a seasonal virus that spreads every year, and there is no need to disrupt studies in universities, Abdel Ghaffar said.
Dr. Abdel-Maguid Ibrahim, a pediatric specialist in Egypt, told Arab News: “Most of the children’s cases that we deal with these days — whether in private clinics or in the general hospital in where I work — are linked to RSV.”
He said most cases were being cured with cough medicine and antipyretics, and there was no need for panic.