South Sudan says mystery haemorrhagic fever "under control"

South Sudan said Wednesday a mysterious haemorrhagic fever which has killed 10 people near its border with Sudan is "under control."

The disease has Ebola-like symptoms, but patients have not tested positive for Ebola or other common haemorrhagic fevers.

So far, 52 suspected cases - including 10 deaths - have been reported since December 24, the Health Ministry said in a statement. Only one new case has been reported since early May, the medical journal Lancet reported.

Nearly 75 per cent of the suspected cases have involved peopled aged 20 years or less, according to the World Health Organization.

The ministry said the outbreak occurred in Lol state, bordering Sudan. An outbreak of a similar disease killed 120 people in the Darfur region of Sudan between August and September 2015.

Symptoms include bleeding, vomiting and fever. The ministry said there is no clear evidence of person-to-person transmission.

South Sudan said it had investigated the current outbreak in cooperation with WHO. Samples from suspected patients were sent to Uganda, South Africa and Senegal for testing. Eight people suspected of suffering from the unknown haemorrhagic fever turned out to have other, known diseases.

The disease emerged just as South Sudan’s economy and health care system had been wrecked by a two-and-a-half-year military conflict. But the ministry said the government had developed a control strategy based mainly on surveillance, laboratory investigation of suspected cases, and clinical care.

Last update: Wed, 29/06/2016 - 12:19

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