Mystery disease kills three in South Sudan, says WHO

January 8, 2017 (JUBA) – A suspected viral hemorrhagic fever has killed at least three people while 60 of their contacts are being monitored for any infection, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said in a statement issued on Monday this week.

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WHO receives 500 000 doses of Oral Cholera Vaccine for a planned campaign in South Sudan. WHO South Sudan (WHO/L. Luwaga photo)

The agency said the three, who included a pregnant woman, teenage girl and a boy from a village in South Sudan’s Eastern Lakes state, succumbed to the fever in December last year.

“No tissue or blood samples were collected from their bodies for analysis, and South Sudan health authorities reported the cases on Dec. 28,” WHO said.

“The outbreak of suspected viral hemorrhagic fever in South Sudan could rapidly evolve, and critical information including laboratory confirmation of the etiology of disease is needed to direct response efforts,” it added.

Health authorities and WHO, the statement further stressed, are investigating and found evidence of zoonotic hemorrhagic illness in goats and sheep in the area, including some deaths, as well as deaths among wild birds at the time.


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