Health Ministry: 27 Dead from Rift Valley Fever in Saudi Arabia
Twenty-seven people in Saudi Arabia have died of Rift Valley Fever out of a total of 129 who have been contaminated by the disease, the Saudi health ministry said Monday.
"The number who have died from the time the disease appeared until Sunday evening is 27 out of 129 contaminated," the ministry said in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency.
The Jizan region was the worst affected with 105 people contaminated, the ministry said.
Saudi King Fahd ordered on Sunday the destruction of all livestock carrying or suspected of carrying the deadly fever.
The fever was first reported on September 11 in the south of the kingdom near the border with Yemen, where 28 people have since died of the disease in the Red Sea region of Hodeida, 225 kilometers (140 miles) west of Sanaa.
It is the first time that the disease, which affects domestic animals and can be transmitted to humans by mosquitoes, has been known to strike outside Africa.
Symptoms include hemorrhagic fever, encephalitis and eye problems, although human deaths from the disease are rare, according to experts - RIYADH (AFP)
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