2000 News Story

Health ministry gives update on RVF situation

The Ministry of Health yesterday issued a statement reiterating that new cases of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) in

the provinces of Riyadh, Asir, and Najran, and in the area of Qunfuza, concern individuals who have

traveled from Jizan, where the disease originated. The statement emphasized that RVF does not, in

general, spread from one person to another, but is transferred by contact with an infected animal, or

through mosquito bites. To spread, the disease requires affected livestock, mosquitoes to carry the virus,

and the existence of swamps for the mosquitoes to breed. Mosquitoes outside Jizan Province do not carry

infected blood, and cannot spread the disease. All planes leaving Jizan airport, and all vehicles on roads

leading from Jizan Province, are being sprayed with insecticide as a preventative measure.

The Ministry's daily report on the outbreak shows that from 7 pm Monday to 7 pm yesterday there were

only 12 new cases, one in Asir and the rest in Jizan. It was further reported that all five patients in

Qunfuza had been discharged from the hospital. The total number of cases now stands at 160, with 33

fatalities and 30 patients fully recovered.