Treating Hepatitis with pigeons? Ask the Egyptians

Egyptians unable to afford drugs that cost eight times the average annual wage are resorting to a bogus ritual with live pigeons to try to cure Hepatitis.

The alternative treatment for hepatitis C emerged years ago and has become increasingly popular. It involves removing the feathers from the backside of a pigeon and holding it on the patient's navel until the bird dies," said Mona Abu-Zekry, a specialist in infectious diseases.

Practitioners claim the pigeon, which is usually three or four weeks old, dies after absorbing the virus into its body. Abu-Zekry said they secretly choke the birds to death while holding them against their patients. Tests on the pigeons involved in this practice showed they had chest fractures caused by holding them tightly.

"It's a fallacy. The people doing this are trying to make money from people who don't know any better," Abu-Zekry said.

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