A Saudi Gazette report Sunday states government hospitals in Jeddah have been alerted following the fresh outbreak of Alkhurma hemorrhagic fever (AHF). Although the report doesn’t say if or how many cases there are, Health Affairs in Jeddah has asked hospitals to inform it about new cases of the disease as quickly as possible.
Alkhurma hemorrhagic fever virus (genus Flavivirus, AHFV) was recently identified as the agent of a viral hemorrhagic fever in Saudi Arabia and characterized serologically and genetically as a variant genotype of Kyasanur Forest disease virus (KFDV), according to the Saudi Heath Ministry.
AHFV was first isolated in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in the 1990s from the blood of a butcher admitted to the hospital with a severe infectious syndrome. To date, 24 cases have been recorded in a 10-year period.
Clinical manifestations include fever, headache, retroorbital pain, joint pain, generalized muscle pain, anorexia and vomiting associated with leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, and elevated levels of liver enzymes. In addition, some patients had clinical symptoms of hemorrhagic fever or encephalitis; overall, 5 patients, of 24 infected, died, for a 25% fatality rate.