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Cablegate: Dengue Fever Outbreak in Yemen

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SANAA 000478

SIPDIS

STATE - PLEASE PASS TO CDC. AMMAN - PLEASE PASS TO JOCK
WHITTLESLEY.

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO AMED YM
SUBJECT: DENGUE FEVER OUTBREAK IN YEMEN

REF: MARCH 3 EMAIL FROM CDC CLARK TO SANAA RMO HOFER

1. This is an action request. See para. 5.

2. A dengue fever outbreak has afflicted the port cities of
Hodeidah and Mokha on the western coast of Yemen and the
surrounding coastal area beginning mid-January. Exact
numbers are difficult to ascertain, and governmental, press,
and WHO estimates of the number of cases vary. According to
English language weekly "The Yemen Times," the Ministry of
Public Health and Population and the World Health
Organization (WHO) both denied reports that 30 people have
died in Hodeidah. World Health Organization Yemen
representative Dr. Hashim al-Zein, who visited Hodeidah March
1, told the press most suspected cases occurred in or around
the city, which is susceptible to ship born diseases from the
Horn of Africa. Post is trying to contact the WHO
representative for more information.

3. With no specific treatment for dengue infection, any
outbreak of this mosquito-borne disease is a serious
international public health concern. According to the WHO,
dengue fever is usually a severe, flu-like illness that
affects infants, young children and adults, causing death in
5 percent of those treated. Without proper treatment, the
fatality rate of the potential complication, dengue
hemorrhagic fever, can exceed 20 percent. Yemen's health
services network does not have adequate resources to mount a
mosquito eradication campaign, nor the resources to
systematically identify and treat suspected cases when they
occur.

4. USAID Sanaa Senior Health Advisor Dr. Ahmed Attieg
believes the outbreak began in late December or early January
in the Zabid District, north of the Port of Mokha on the Red
Sea. The Central Laboratory in Sanaa reported on March 5
that of 113 samples taken from suspected Dengue cases, 72
were found positive for the disease and 7 are confirmed dead.
Regional Medical Officer (RMO) discussed the outbreak with
Deputy Minister of Health Dr. Abbas Al-Motawakel, who
believes there are between 42 to 49 cases of dengue fever in
the Hodeidah region. RMO contacted Center for Disease
Control (CDC) Dengue Branch Chief on March 2. CDC was only
able to confirm two cases of dengue fever in Hodeidah.

5. Post requests guidance from CDC on cost-effective ways to
address the dengue fever issue. RMO recommends Mission
personnel avoid traveling to the Hodeidah region until better
estimates on the scale of the outbreak are available. If
travel is unavoidable, personnel should take mosquito bite
avoidance precautions, such as applying bug repellent. Post
plans to issue a warden's message to alert the American
community.

6. Post's POCs are:

Jules Kim Johnson, Economic and Commercial Officer
US Embassy, Sanaa, Yemen
Tel: 011-967-1-755-2252
Email: JohnsonJK@state.gov

Dr. Curt Hofer, Regional Medical Officer
US Embassy, Sanaa, Yemen
Tel: 011-967-1-755-2000
Email: HoferC@state.gov
Khoury

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