Influenza H5N1: What happens when a country is in turmoil

For a considerable amount of time, Egypt was a relatively tranquil and affluent country. That is, until the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate Mohammed Morsi was elected president a year after an uprising that brought an end to Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule. During his 12 months in power, Morsi was seen by many Egyptians as preoccupied with establishing political control rather than tackling economic and social problems. Then, in July 2013, the military stepped in and Morsi was overthrown and thrown in jail.

Since then, terrorists have destabilized the country even more, and tourists, once spending millions, now have turned away from the Egyptian sun and its antiquities.
[Chart by Fred de Vries]
The effects of this turmoil is best shown in the numbers of cases of Influenza H5N1. This particularly deadly stain of the bird flu virus has been circulating in Egypt since 2006, but their health system could keep the yearly number of fatalities very low.

But for the last two years, both the number of cases and deaths have been steeply on the rise. It clearly shows the apparent break-down of the fabric of society. Chaos rules. And where chaos rules, a deadly virus takes the opportunity to infect ever more people. Check the latest numbers here.

I fear it's only the beginning.

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