CAIRO: The Ministry of Health announced on Tuesday that five new cases of swine flu among American students at American University in Cairo’s Zamalek dormitory have been confirmed.
The infected students are all Americans enrolled in the Seton Hall University’s law exchange program, according to Rehab Saad, associate director for Media Relations at AUC. The two cases detected on Monday were enrolled in same program
A high board member at AUC’s Student Union told Daily News Egypt that the university called for an urgent meeting to assess the situation.
The source added that the university will cancel the graduation ceremonies of both the graduate and undergraduate class of spring 2009 which were to take place on June 16 and 18.
An AUC statement released on June 9 said that the dormitory quarantine will be extended until June 15. The university also said that it has not received the results of tests on AUCians outside the dormitory conducted on everyone who was present at the New Campus on Monday.
The summer semester is also likely to be canceled, the source added.
According to Dr Abdel Rahman Shahin, the official spokesman of the Ministry of Health, the five new cases have been hospitalized at the Abbasiya Fever Hospital (Homiyat) and are in stable condition. He said that the infected are four men and one women, 20-years-old on average, with the exception of one man who is 26.
He added that the health of the two students detected Monday was improving, that their temperature has gone down and that they are expected to leave the hospital soon, Shahin said.
At the Zamalek dorm, AUC administration has devised a meals schedule, where food will be provided in the cafeteria at certain times.
The laundry room and computer lab are fully functional, but all workers, employees, students and faculty are required to wear masks and gloves.
Although hand soap has been resupplied to bathrooms, toilet paper remains a much-sought after commodity.
As for students and staff at AUC’s New Cairo campus, Brian MacDougall, vice president for planning and administration said in an official statement to Daily News Egypt via email: “From a principle perspective, we are first looking to ensure that the students who are living on the New Cairo Campus have adequate support as it relates to food services, access to recreation, transportation and general facility type services such as cleaning services.
“Secondly, we want to limit the number of the AUC community who will be required to access either of the two campuses until Sunday. With these principles in operation, this is what it means to the AUC community, MacDougall said, adding that access to AUC will be restricted.
“Access to AUC campuses will be limited to the students who live on the New Cairo Campus, access to the AUC campuses will not be available for other AUC students. Access for staff is to be limited to those who have been designated as essential by their managers.
Until next Sunday, according to MacDougall, only Gates 3 and 4 of the New Campus will be open.
On June 8, AUC sent an official media statement confirming the university’s decision to suspend summer semester classes until next Sunday, on the recommendation of the Egyptian Ministry of Health “to ensure the health and safety of the AUC community.
On Monday, Ministry of Health officials ordered the quarantine of the American University in Cairo’s Zamalek dormitory for seven days, the virus’s incubation period, when two students were diagnosed with the H1N1 virus.
The 234 people in the dorm, 110 students and 124 professors, were all examined
Minister of Health Hatem El-Gabaly left to London on Monday evening to conduct meetings with health experts there on the new medical insurance system that the ministry is planning to launch in all of Egypt’s this summer.
According to Al-Jazeera news channel, the number of swine flu cases in the Middles East region has increased since Monday.
In Israel, the number rose from 54 on Monday to 60 on Tuesday, and at the same period in Lebanon, five new cases which reported, raising the total number of to eight, while is Egypt seven more cases were confirmed, raising the number to eight.
However, no deaths from the flu was reported in the region since its eruption last April
On June 8, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that 73 countries reported 25,288 cases of H1N1, including 139 deaths. -Additional reporting by Noah Rayman and Tyler Waywell.