Malaria and Luxor.
I hadn’t realized that Malaria in recent times in Upper Egypt had been severe.
Malaria in the Delta I knew about but it was relatively small and the locals there had developed some immunity to it.
However in Upper Egypt Malaria arrived about 1942, came from the South, killed a large number and was poorly dealt with because the British attention was diverted to protecting Egypt from Italian/German invasion.
It’s a complicated story so I’ll make it as brief as I can.
Anopheles gambiae were the vectors.
Spread with the assistance of Pondweed caused by the dam.
Needs bodies to develop the parasite that is ingested back into another parasite in a later bite where it then fertilizes and complete the reproductive cycle
The body is deprived of oxygen which can lead to death. There was no local immunity so their symptoms were bad and fatality high.
Here the story gets interesting in terms of western charity from a capitalist west that Egypt learnt to later hate. As is always the case the charity didn’t publicize itself in a cheap Hawass way and now Egypt hides the ‘foreigner’ contribution whilst screaming its own third rate glories.
The Rockefeller Foundation fixed the mosquito diseases in Panama after the US army had failed. Now it moved to Upper Egypt. They used techniques still foreign to Egypt. Cheap, methodical, well managed, scientific and systematic. Initially the British opposed it because they feared US influence in their colony. In the following year (1943), after thousands more died the spraying worked. It wasn't DDT but probably the plant based insecticide, not perfect, Pyrethrum.The Americans paid for it after Egypt had wasted its own money achieving nothing. Nothing has changed there.
The last larvae destroyed in 1945 were a few k’s south of Luxor. Quick time.
Nutrition was poor and this made the locals vulnerable to the malaria. Paradoxically the dam had depleted the agricultural soils and these now required large amounts of fertilizers supplied by the German company I.G. Faben (who developed the gas to kill Jews – Zyclon B, and huge slave camps loved by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem) and supplies of this fertilizer interrupted by the war leading to significant food production declines and poor nutrition.
The newly dominant local sugar industry provided a good breeding ground for the mosquito at that time.
Its back but al Pravda is keeping quiet. In 2014 P. vivax appeared south of Luxor in Aswan and Edfu and about 22 cases confirmed. According to this ‘scientific’ article written by Egyptians the Supreme Surgeons dealt with it superbly. The same idiot article doesn’t look at cause. https://www.iproc.org/2018/1/e10636/ What the next steps are depends on cause and there is no information on either. The cause is a mystery.
Malaria can be spread by blood transfusion of infected blood and it would require another post to describe the Egyptian blood system – worse than not good.
Dengue Fever is also spread by mosquitoes and blew up on the coast about a year ago after everyone thought the Ministry of Health had done its job. Difficult to treat and a threat to the blood system didn’t provide the Supreme Surgeons with enough incentive. 252 cases in Assiut in 2015 were well concealed. The aggregate is 680 cases over the past few years and accelerating. Its vector A. aegypti is back which means an increased risk of chikungunya, Zika, and yellow fever viruses. Yellow will kill you. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lani ... 5/fulltext. The local press reports that this has been a problem for only a year are rot. Wonder what their forward/contingency planning is.
West Nile Virus which causes encephalitis is also a rapidly emerging risk not helped by mosquito vectors that like irrigated fields. As usual the Ministry of Health has its hand out for western money for big projects whilst it dozes on early cheap interventions on a currently small problem. Preventative medicine and early quick interventions are foreign to Egypt as are are similar approaches foreign to all aspects of its Government activity.
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What is it like to live in Luxor? Share your experiences of Luxor's culture.
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