Swine fever grips Egypt

Despite the fact that Egypt killed most of its pigs in a bizarre species-cleansing exercise that had pig owner (Christians) disraught, the country is not immune to swine fever.

There are 29 cases to date, with new cases developing daily, mostly in people returning from travel in Canada and the US.

So of course, we foreigners are a target for suspicion. So much so that I’ve a good mind to wander through the busiest mall with an Australian flag, sneezing conspiciously and sans tissue – pure naughtiness.

It’s the front page of Al-Ahram today, with a photo of members of the Opera House audience donning masks, girls in the metro with masks on, and one girl quoted as saying, “Egyptians should shop kissing when they meet with friends. The flu provides the perfect reason to change unhealthy habits.” Really. That’s just un-Egyptian.

Throwing rubbish in the street or pouring raw sewage into the ocean – slightly less healthy than kissing, don’t you think?

Personally, I’m loving the Australian response to swine flu (despite the fact we appear to be riddled with the pig cold). Australia has increased its national threat assessment level from “no worries, mate” to “she’ll be right, mate.” There is no thought of incurring the most extreme threat level of “sorry, mate, we’re canceling the barbie”.

About the author

Fear is found on a creaking glacier in the Caucasus mountains and joy is encapsulated in the perfect Shanghai dumpling. And while I love a $500-a-night hotel room (who doesn’t?), sometimes the best stories are found in a $20 guesthouse. With an eye always out for good markets and great street eats, I write the travel news and features for the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne’s The Age newspapers, and features for whoever else asks. I have a particular soft spot for the wilds of the Middle East, scarves and carpets. My articles and photographs have been published in a range of consumer magazines and newspapers in Australia and abroad, and occasionally I chat on radio, too, from Essentials Magazine to 3AW or the Irish Times.

2 thoughts on “Swine fever grips Egypt

  1. I dont like that cartoon featuring
    Winnie…its completely ruining my childhood fantasy that Winnie's world was safe and wonderful!

    Oh well …more real life

    …and to think I had completely stopped watching reality shows!

    PS …I'm talking thru my mask when writing this…never mind cancelling the barbie! haha!

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