Gulf States Ban Meat to Rift Valley Fever Scare
DUBAI (Albawaba) - Gulf States have imposed a ban on imported meet to guard against the spread of Rift Valley disease which has killed dozens of people in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
The health ministry of the United Arab Emirates has banned the import of meat from Yemen and the African countries of Eritrea, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan and Kenya, as well as from Tanzania and Uganda, Gulf newspapers reported Monday.
The Qatari health ministry said it would ban meat from affected countries. Oman stopped meat imports from Yemen and East Africa. The Saudi agriculture ministry announced last week that it has suspended meat imports from Red Sea countries. Since the outbreak of the disease on 11 September, 113 people in Saudi Arabia have been infected by Rift Valley fever. Saudi health officials said 24 people have died.
The highest number of those infected, 98, came from the Jizan region on the border with Yemen where the disease first struck. This is the first time the disease, which affects domestic animals and can be transmitted to humans by mosquitoes, has moved out of Africa. Symptoms include high fever, eye and stomach pains, and diarrhea.
Saudi Arabia has stepped up efforts to curb the disease. Saudi planes began spraying insecticides in infected areas and have suspended imports of livestock from African Red Sea area countries.
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