Nine children were infected with Hepatitis A in the city of Menufiya, with four later released from hospital, Health Ministry spokesperson Hossam Abdel Ghaffar told Daily News Egypt. Of the reported cases, five are still receiving treatment in hospital.
“The ministry sent a medical caravan to support needed patients with medical treatment and prevent more infections,” Abdel Ghaffar added. The caravan staff also examined other children in different villages around Menufiya, with the results of tests carried out all coming back as negative for Hepatitis A.
The spread of the virus, which alarmed many of the Talbent village families, could be easily avoided and treated according to National Liver Institute doctor, Mohamed Ezz El-Arab.
“Unlike Hepatitis C, Hepatitis A cannot cause permanent liver inflammation or leave any side effects. However, it could have implications on the kidney and limbs, if ignored,” Ezz Al-Arab told Daily News Egypt.
Hepatitis A needs complete rest and good nutrition to be treated, instead of specialised medicines that are needed for other liver viruses.
“Wrong behaviours and lack of nutrition, hygiene and access to clean food and water, are the main triggers behind the spread of such viruses especially in villages,” Ezz Al-Arab said.
Additional incidents of mass poisoning have taken place recently, amidst limited official procedures to prevent such occurrences.
In a separate incident, at least 27 infants were reportedly been poisoned after they were administrated doses of intravenous rehydration solution in Beni Suef hospitals, the Health Ministry stated in July.
In April, an estimated 500 tonnes of phosphate leaked into the River Nile near the Upper Egypt governorate of Qena, when the barge transporting the chemical material capsized after colliding with the Dandara Bridge.
A campaign was launched on Facebook by an anonymous group of doctors in June, who published images inside public hospitals across Egypt. The page shows images of snakes, cats, rats and other animals roaming inside clinics and on patients’ beds. The photos also showed patients lying on the floor for treatment, damaged tools and infrastructure, and poor-quality dorms used by doctors and nurses.