Mystery Illness Claims 30 Lives in Saudi Arabia
At least 30 people have died from a mystery illness in Saudi Arabia in recent days raising fears of West Nile or Ebola viruses, a newspaper reported Saturday.
The outbreak was reported from Jizan province which borders Yemen where victims have suffered from high fever, diarrhoea and bleeding.
The daily al-Iqtissadiya quoted medical sources saying it could be West Nile Fever, which has killed eight people in Israel recently, or the deadly Ebola virus.
A large number of sheep have died in the region recently and the newspaper said they could have transmitted the illness.
Authorities have sprayed insecticides and banned transportation of sheep outside the province.
Health Minister Ossama Shobokshi went to Jizan on Saturday to inspect local hospitals which have been put on emergency to treat the sick, officials said.
West Nile virus is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes and resembles malaria, causing influenza-like symptoms and leading to meningitis in more serious cases.
Ebola is a haemorrhagic fever named after a river in the Congo and is normally maintained in an animal host native to the African continent – RIYADH (AFP)
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