Hemorrhagic fever in Saudi Arabia: challenge to public health, effective management and future considerations|
Kumosani, Taha A; Malki, Abdulrahman L Al-; Razvi, Syed S; Balgoon, Maha J; Kaleem, Mohammed; Huwait, Etimad A; Alghamdi, Maryam A; Yaghmoor, Soonham S; Abualnaja, Khalid O; Barbour, Elie K; Madani, Khalid A AL-; AlToukhi, Majdi H; Kumosani, Afnan T & Moselhy, Said S
Background: Viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHF) refers to a group of febrile illnesses caused by different viruses that result in
high mortality in animals and humans. Many risk factors like increased human-animal interactions, climate change, increased
mobility of people and limited diagnostic facility have contributed to the rapid spread of VHF.
Materials: The history of VHFs in the Saudi Arabian Peninsula has been documented since the 19th century, in which many
outbreaks have been reported from the southwestern region of Saudi Arabia. Despite presence of regional network of
experts and technical organizations, which expedite support and respond during outbreaks, there are some more challenges
that need to be addressed immediately. Gaps in funding, exhaustive and inclusive response plans and improved surveillance
systems are some areas of concern in the region which can be dealt productively. This review primarily focusses on the hemorrhagic
fevers that are caused by three most common viruses namely, the Alkhurma hemorrhagic fever virus, Rift valley
fever virus, and Dengue fever virus.
Conclusion: In summary, effective vector control, health education, possible use of vaccine and concerted synchronized
efforts between different government organizations and private research institutions will help in planning effective outbreak-prevention and response strategies in future.
Viral fever; hemorrhagic fever (VHF); Saudi Arabia; challenges; management; future considerations.