BAGHDAD, May 10 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi Ministry of Health said on Tuesday that up to 55 cases of viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF) have been registered in Iraq recently, including 12 deaths.
"Most of the VHF cases were registered in Iraq's southern province of Dhi Qar, where 29 of the total cases were detected," the ministry's spokesman Sayf al-Badr said at a press conference.
Hemorrhagic fever is not new in Iraq, where many cases have been discovered in the past 50 years, but now the number of cases is increasing recently, the spokesman said.
"There is no vaccine or antiviral for this disease, the patient can be treated in the early stages of the disease, but the treatment would be difficult when the disease reaches the dangerous stage such as bleeding under the skin or from other parts of the body," said al-Badr.
The first VHF case was detected in Dhi Qar last month, and later more cases were discovered in several other provinces, he added.
The VHFs are a group of diseases caused by several different viruses, including the Ebola virus, which affect multiple organ systems in the body and may cause fever and bleeding. The Iraqi health ministry has not revealed which virus has caused the recent cases.