Fear of Bird-Flu stops Egyptian Kisses!

In the footsteps of a recent Bollywood incident in Mumbai India, there now seems to be a public row about Kissing in Egypt! 

  

The kiss has been a long-standing part of Egyptian culture as a greeting for friends and family.

But a growing number of Egyptian human fatalities resulting from the Bird-Flu, threatens to put a stop to this ancient custom.

Now, a Pediatrician, Dr. Adel Ashour, is warning Egyptians of the dangers of unrestricted kissing.

Dr. Adel Ashour spearheads his anti-kissing campaign from the National Centre for Research.

Launched a year and a half ago, the anti-kissing campaign aims to educate the public on the dangers of freely exchanging kisses. “We started this campaign two winters ago when bird flu was rapidly approaching Egypt.  We were worried about transmission via water droplets in the breath and excessive kissing is an easy way for that to happen.”

Dr. Ashour also emphasized that bird flu was not the only danger. “I count 15 diseases that can be spread by kissing, among them [non-avian] flu, German measles, tuberculosis, mononucleosis and Chicken Pox”

While Dr Azza Abdel Azzim, head of microbiology at Bani Suef University, agreed with the infectious potential of kissing, she suggested that public health resources be directed elsewhere.

 “Yes kissing can transmit many diseases, particularly Epstein-Barr [mononucleosis] and Hepatitis C. Because of this, some people with weak immune system should refrain from kissing.” she said, “But kissing is not at all a significant problem for us right now. We need to make sure that drinking water is clean, for example, first.” she added.

Here is a link to the news item from the Daily Star Egypt: http://www.dailystaregypt.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=7796

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