Fifty people lost their lives in Yemen's temporary capital of Aden due to the chikungunya fever, according to an anonymous government official late Saturday. The rash of cases compounds concerns for vulnerable people in the war-torn country whose risk is greater due to poor health facilities, infrastructure and worsening humanitarian conditions.
The already dire humanitarian situation in the country stokes fears of a major coronavirus outbreak as multiple infections and deaths linked to the disease were reported for the first time in April. The United Nations has said it fears the novel coronavirus could be spreading undetected in a country where millions face famine and lack medical care.
More than 3,000 people were infected, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to Anadolu Agency (AA). The governor of the district of Sheikh Othman in Aden, southern Yemen, is also among the dead, said the source. It is believed that the disease came about because of swamps caused by a flood disaster on April 21.
Eight people, including five children, died, and houses were partially or completely destroyed by floods caused by heavy rains in Aden. The Yemeni government declared the temporary capital a disaster zone.
The chikungunya fever is a viral illness that is spread through the bites of infected mosquitoes. The disease typically lasts five to seven days and frequently causes severe and often incapacitating joint pain which sometimes persists for much longer periods, according to the World Health Organization.