No new cases of avian flu recorded, says Saudi ministry

Updated 21 April 2018
0

No new cases of avian flu recorded, says Saudi ministry

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture announced on Friday that no cases of H5N8 avian flu had been recorded in Saudi Arabia in the previous 24 hours.

The ministry said 13,923 samples had been collected from the Saudi regions since the beginning of the spread of the disease.

The results revealed that 182 of these samples tested positive. As many as 4,068 birds were culled in the previous 24 hours.

On the other hand, awareness and survey campaigns will continue in all regions of the Kingdom.

In January, the Saudi Wildlife Authority (SWA) enforced a ban on the hunting of migratory birds to help prevent avian influenza. The migratory birds include houbara bustards, passerines, pelicans, cranes and turtle doves. 


Sandstorms cause major health problems, expert warns

A choking cloud of sand covers the Saudi capital. (AP)
Updated 23 min 38 sec ago
0

Sandstorms cause major health problems, expert warns

  • People should take adequate precautions during sandstorms in Saudi Arabia, says scientist
  • Dr. Sultan Ayoub Meo: The diseases of the respiratory system induced by air pollutants are influenced by the type of dust and duration of exposure to the particles

JEDDAH: An eminent scientist has advised people to take adequate precautions during sandstorms in Saudi Arabia, which can cause a number of health problems, including respiratory complications.

Dr. Sultan Ayoub Meo, professor at the College of Medicine at King Saud University, Riyadh, said that sandstorms are the main cause of bacterial and viral infections, especially among elderly people.

Meo, referring to a series of sandstorms that hit various regions of the Kingdom in the past six weeks, said that “a large number of people, exposed to sandstorms, have complaints of allergic rhinitis, runny nose, wheeze, cough, chest tightness, acute asthmatic attack, eye irritation, redness of the eyes, headache, sleep disturbance and psychological disturbances.”

These are in addition to the respiratory symptoms more common in children and elderly people, he said.

“The most vulnerable part of the body to sandstorms is the respiratory system,” Meo said. “People who are exposed to them are more vulnerable to the air pollutants, as the dust particles enter the respiratory system and cause various health problems.” 

The diseases of the respiratory system induced by air pollutants are influenced by the type of dust and duration of exposure to the particles, he said.

He pointed out that the environmental protection agencies must make use of the print and electronic media to provide information about the exact date and time of sandstorms to minimize unnecessary exposure.

 He advised people to wear masks, which are designed to filter out small particulates, and also airtight goggles to protect the eyes. 

He also suggested that in the desert areas, people might “cultivate the land and adopt a fallow system” as the cultivation and fallow system minimizes the frequency of sandstorms. 

Meo said that the choking dust in sandstorms contains “a large number of bacteria, fungi and viruses.”