A total of 96 people have died in Saudi Arabia from Rift Valley Fever, which struck the Saudi-Yemen border area in early September, the health ministry said Friday.
"Three deaths have been recorded over the past 24 hours, bringing to 96 the number of people who have died from Rift Valley Fever," said a statement carried by the official SPA news agency.
The health ministry said 558 people have contracted the virus, but 357 of them have been able to leave the hospital after recovering.
The virus has also struck neighboring Yemen, where the government has reported 109 deaths.
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 hemorrhagic fever, encephalitis and eye problems, although human deaths are supposed to be rare, according to experts.
The virus is usually contracted from mosquitoes, or by contact with the blood, bodily fluids or organs of infected animals – RIYADH (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )