30 October 2012

Sudan: 98 Die and 458 Infected With Unknown Fever

Photo: Louise Roland-Gosselin/ Médecins Sans Frontières
Getting a check-up (file photo): Yellow fever is transmitted by mosquitoes or contaminated blood.

Central Darfur — According to news reports 98 citizens have died and another 458 have been infected as a result of an unknown fever over the past three weeks in several areas of Central Darfur, Radio Dabanga has learned on Tuesday October 30.

The affected areas in Central Darfur are Jebel Ahmar, Umm Shalaya, Khor Ramla and Fasi. The ministry of health questioned the figures, saying they are "inaccurate and exaggerated".

Saad Ahmed Aseel, a nomad from Jebel Ahmar, told Radio Dabanga that the fever is still spreading and has surfaced in multiple locations. The nomad added that more than 108 people have been infected in Jebel Ahmar and 17 have died in the mean time.

He added that 75 people have been infected in the area of Umm Shalaya, and 27 of them have died in the mean time. He continued that 275 people have been infected in the area of Khor Ramla and Fasi of whom 54 have died in the mean time.

Aseel told Radio Dabanga that the authorities refuse to acknowledge that the unknown fever has evolved to an epidemic, he added to Radio Dabanga from Jebel Ahmar, east of Zalingei.

News reports from residents and witnesses in Nertete highlighted the death of 16 people as a result of the same 'mysterious disease' in Nertete hospital during the past week.

An activist from Nertete told Radio Dabanga that the town's hospital continuously receives new cases of the disease, adding that mainly nomads are infected in the areas of Jebel Ahmar, West Nertete, Borang south-west of Nertete and the area of Corea, north of Nertete.

One of the residents added to Radio Dabanga that the residents and displaced people fear the disease will be transmitted to them by nomads, he said to Radio Dabanga from Nertete.

State health minister: 'no epidemic'

For its part, Central Darfur state minister of health, Issa Mohamed Moussa, affirmed that 71 people have been infected with the unknown fever, of whom 35 have died in the mean time. The minister explained to Radio Dabanga on Tuesday that the numbers given by residents were "inaccurate and exaggerated".

He continued that the state's health ministry has made great efforts to contain the disease, by means of spraying pesticides.

In addition, Moussa announced the upcoming arrival of a team from the federal health ministry to Zalingei to 'handle' the situation. He emphasized that the team will move on Wednesday to travel across the affected areas.

The minister explained that "an accurate diagnosis was not made yet and that the disease has not evolved to an epidemic", he added to Radio Dabanga from Zalingei.

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