Rift Valley Fever Death Toll Reaches 200 in Saudi Arabia, Yemen
The death toll from Rift Valley Fever has reached 109 in Yemen and 91 in Saudi Arabia since it first appeared in early September, ministries in the two neighboring Arabian peninsula states announced Tuesday.
In Yemen, the health and agriculture ministries said that "109 people have died and 2,742 head of livestock have been put down since the disease appeared".
The Saudi health ministry said that 91 people in the kingdom had been killed by the fever out of a total of 508 cases, while 325 patients had recovered and left hospital.
Yemen's Health Minister Abdullah Abdel Wali Nasher told reporters Monday that the government had spent 1.37 million dollars to finance the fight against the disease.
Nasher said the incidents of the fever were "currently concentrated in the (northern) Hajja, Saada and Al-Mahwit provinces".
The minister added that Oman had rushed vehicles, equipment and chemical products to Yemen to help combat the fever.
The health and agriculture ministries in Sanaa last week urged the World Health Organization and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization to bring aid to Yemen.
WHO 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 haemorrhagic 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 – SANAA (AFP)
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