Egypt: Anti-kissing campaign gaining momentum....
The habit of kissing may soon disappear from the Egyptian public life…
A new anti-kissing association, which was recently established in Cairo, claims that its campaign has been gaining momentum. Pediatrician Adel Ashur, the founder of "No kisses after today" group, has explained in a recent interview that kissing friends on the cheek could lead to transmission of avian flu H5-N1 virus.
Dr. Ashur said: "Despite cynical reactions at the beginning, the Egyptian intellectual layer has started to take this idea seriously, understanding that this habit is unhealthy."
Despite the warning, so far there haven’t been cases where the bird flu has been transmitted from a person to person in Egypt. The virus could be in the incubation phase with the person carrying it not exhibiting any of the disease’s symptoms. Once it’s possible to get the infection through as simple a medium as a kiss, the epidemic will get out of control, Ashur explained.
On June 13th, a four-year-old girl has tested positive for bird flu, bringing to 36 the number of people in Egypt infected with the deadly virus strain since February 2006.
An exchange of kisses on the cheek can also lead to several infections ranging from tuberculosis, meningitis, herpes and hepatitis B to mild and easily-cured illnesses like bronchitis, scarlet fever, measles, German measles, common colds, boils and abscesses.
Dr. Ashur has especially warned mothers regarding to the kissing habit. According to him, a child’s immune system is not fully developed before the age of 14, making kids under this age particularly susceptible to infection and sickness, which can be transmitted through kisses. "Every Egyptian mother should be very determined in foiling attempts of others to kiss their children, even if they get angry responses," stressed the pediatrician.