Egypt Delays School Opening to Combat Swine Flu

Fear of outbreak motivates rescheduling
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2009 1:09 PM CDT
Students of the American University in Cairo leave their dormitory, Egypt on June 15, 2009, after being placed under quarantine for a week after 7 American students were diagnosed with swine flu.   (AP Photo/Rania Gomaa)
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(Newser) – Fears of a swine flu outbreak have moved the Egyptian government to delay the start of the school year at state-run schools and universities by at least 1 week, the BBC reports. Government-run schools had been set to begin school the last week of September; they will now open Oct. 3. Schools and universities not run by the state have already begun their school years and will have to interrupt their schedules to comply with the order.

The action comes after five new cases of swine flu were announced this weekend. A University of Cairo spokesman said the university would extend the school week to 6 days in order to accommodate smaller class sizes in an attempt to stop the spread of the disease.