World, Middle East

50 die in Yemen from mosquito-borne disease

More than 3,000 infected with chikungunya fever in temporary capital of Aden, says government official

50 die in Yemen from mosquito-borne disease

By Aziz al-Ahmadi

ADEN, Yemen

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.

More than 3,000 people were infected, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to Anadolu Agency.

Governor of Sheikh Othman district of Aden in southern Yemen is also among the dead, said the source.

It is believed that disease came about because of swamps caused by a flood disaster 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.

Heavy rains and floods in Yemen since mid-April affected 150,000 people, said Jens Larke, spokesperson for UN Humanitarian Affairs Coordination Office (OCHA) on May 1.

Chikungunya fever is a viral illness that is spread by 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.

* Writing by Jeyhun Aliyev from Ankara

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