A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

More Overreaction to Swine Flu?

Egypt's Health Minister is urging citizens to avoid movie theaters and restaurants, pray outdoors instead of in mosques and churches, and avoid the ‘umra or lesser Meccan pilgrimage for several weeks, even though there have still been no cases of swine flu in Egypt. Virtually everywhere else (with the exception of US Vice President Biden), the advice is only to stay home if you have symptoms. As Mexico starts reopening schools and restaurants and the initial US alarmism eases, it seems that Egypt is still up in arms. First the pig kill, now draconian warnings about not mingling in public. Don't you usually need at least one case of the disease before you start to panic?

Well, then, how about this:

Afghanistan's Only Pig Quarantined in Flu Fear. Their only pig is in the Kabul zoo.

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