Rift Valley Fever Death Toll Climbs to 88 in Saudi Arabia
The number of Saudi dead from Rift Valley Fever, which struck the Saudi-Yemen border area in early September, has climbed to 88 after another three deaths, the health ministry said Wednesday.
"Three more deaths have been recorded in the Saudi kingdom," said a statement released in Riyadh.
The ministry said 450 people have contracted the virus, but 346 have been able to leave hospital after recovering.
The virus has also struck neighboring Yemen, where a statement from the health and agriculture ministries said "97 people have died and 1,797 animals have perished".
The ministries have urged the World Health Organization and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization to help Yemen fend off an epidemic.
The World Health Organization has launched an appeal for 975,000 dollars to help boost international efforts to counter the disease in Yemen.
The symptoms of Rift Valley Fever include hemorrhage fever, encephalitis and eye problems, although human deaths are supposed to be rare, according to experts.
It is usually contracted from mosquitoes, or by contact with the blood, bodily fluids or organs of infected animals – RIYADH (AFP)
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