Yemen : Strange disease kills Hodeidah residents

Posted on February 28, 2011

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Posted in: Front Page Yemen Observer
Written By: Fares Anam
Article Date: Feb 28, 2011 – 12:35:10 PM
President Ali Abdullah Saleh has instructed the government to form a special committee to tackle the spread of a mysterious disease in Hodeidah.

Hodeidah local council said that it has laid charges against the national Ministry of Health for not supporting the fight against a mysterious disease that has gripped the province and killed numerous citizens.

Local council sources said that the disease has spread in various districts. Medical sources in Hodeidah said that they had recorded 24 deaths as a result of the disease that has swept through the province over the past two weeks.

Najeeb Malha, chief at the Hodeidah doctor›s syndicate, criticized the Ministry of Health and medical authorities for its lack of assistance. He said that they were not moving fast enough in the face of a major catastrophe.

He appealed to President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the Minister of Health to immediately intervene to treat the injured and provide medical equipment to diagnose this mysterious disease. Malha explained that the disease killed a patient within two days. Its symptoms included bleeding, rapid kidney failure and a coma.
Abdul-Hakim al-Kuhlani, general manager for fighting diseases and surveillance at the Ministry of Health, told the Yemen Observer that samples of the disease›s bacteria had been sent for testing to the laboratories in Egypt.

“Tests showed that there are symptoms of Chicungungya disease, known publicly as al-Mukarfess, as well as dengue fever that is known as al-Dhanak fever,” he said. He said that this squashed claims that there was a mysterious diseases spreading in Hodeidah.

Symptoms of al-Mukarfess disease are pain in the muscles and joints and patients usually could not move much, said al-Kuhlani. “The symptoms of al-Danak are high fever, pain behind the ears, bleeding from the skin or through the nose or with the feaces.

But al-Mukarfess is less dangerous than al-Danak fever.” Al-Kuhlani said it has not been confirmed that the deaths were a result of these two serious diseases. He said that the Ministry of Health had performed many activities in fighting diseases in Hodeidah. “The ministry provided health centers in most of Hodeidah with many drugs and antibiotics to fight diseases because there is no specific drug to cure every disease in the world,” he said.

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