CAIRO - Egypt has confirmed the first swine flu case in an Egyptian returning from Saudi Arabia after performing the Muslim pilgrimage, a newspaper reported on Thursday.
The 28-year-old man was found to have contracted the A(H1N1) virus during Umra, or lesser pilgrimage, to Mecca, health ministry spokesman Abdel Rahman Shahin said, quoted by the state-owned daily Al-Akhbar.
"The young man, who arrived in Egypt on Tuesday, was transferred to hospital and is now in stable condition," Shahin said.
Health ministry officials had warned of the dangers posed by swine flu to millions of Muslim pilgrims travelling to Saudi Arabia.
Egypt's top cleric, Sheikh Ali Gomaa, said he would not issue a decree barring Egyptians from making the pilgrimage, but health officials said all returning pilgrims would be quarantined.
Cairo has so far reported 44 swine flu cases, of whom 13 are still in hospital receiving treatment.
The World Health Organisation in a global update on Wednesday reported 55,867 laboratory-confirmed cases of the A(H1N1) virus in 109 countries and 238 human deaths from the disease since late March.