Dengue Fever Outbreak Swamps Yemeni Hospitals

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An outbreak of the deadly dengue fever in Yemen is putting the country’s strained health system under huge pressure as it prepares for the prospect of dealing with a flood of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients, doctors have warned.

Recent flash floods across Yemen have led to a new wave of dengue fever that has killed as many as 59 people and infected more than 7,400 others. The virus, spread by mosquitoes, causes respiratory problems and symptoms very similar to COVID-19.

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Due to a lack of cash, local health authorities in Yemen have been unable to carry out vital insecticide spraying and they are calling for immediate intervention from the Yemeni government and international aid organizations to curb the spread of dengue fever before the number of patients with the disease overwhelms hospitals.

There has been a severe shortage of PPE and the hospitals are conserving stocks until new World Health Organization (WHO) supplies arrive.

Health workers at Ibn Sina hospital in Al-Mukalla staged a protest calling for staff to be issued with personal protective equipment (PPE) after they were forced to treat a patient who died with suspected COVID-19, without having even gloves or masks to wear.

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