Rift Valley Fever Death Toll Rises to 54 in Saudi Arabia, 36 in Yemen
The death toll from Rift Valley Fever in Saudi Arabia has risen to 54 since it was first reported on September 11 in the south of the kingdom near the border with Yemen, Saudi officials said Wednesday.
In Sanaa, meanwhile, officials said the death toll in Yemen had reached 36.
"Two new deaths have been reported in the past 24 hours in the province of Jizan (the hardest-hit region), taking to 54 the total number of people who have died from the virus," said a health ministry statement carried by the official SPA news agency.
The statement added that since the start of the outbreak 249 people had been registered with the disease in Saudi Arabia, of whom 86 had recovered and left hospital.
In Sanaa, a statement from the health authorities said 33 people had died in the region of Wadi More and three more in the regions of Malahiz and Harad.
Saudi and Yemeni authorities have heightened their cooperation in an attempt to eradicate the disease, and 20 Saudi airplanes are spraying the infected areas with insecticides.
The symptoms of Rift Valley Fever include haemorrhagic fever, encephalitis and eye problems, although human deaths are rare, according to experts. It is usually contracted from mosquitoes, or by contact with the blood, bodily fluids or organs of infected animals.
Although it is possible to vaccinate animals against Rift Valley Fever, there is no vaccine for humans available on the market yet – RIYADH (AFP)
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