Sudan: Chikungunya Emerges in South Darfur, Expert Hired for Advice

Tullus — Medical sources reported cases of chikungunya in Tullus locality in South Darfur. The ministry of health hired an expert to investigate prevention methods such as placing observatories at domestic flights.

A medical source reported to Radio Dabanga that the local hospital received a person suffering from the disease, which was confirmed by laboratory tests.

The source called on responsible authorities to intensify awareness and education about health issues, to contain the disease and prevent its spread in South Darfur.

The Ministry of Health in Khartoum sent a medical expert to investigate cases of chikungunya in Sudan, and conduct a follow-up about mosquitoes, which carry and infect people with the disease.

The ministry announced that the expert has called for the establishment of observatories at the domestic flights at Khartoum airport and bus stations, in order to prevent the transmission of chikungunya fever from the eastern states.

It is the first reported appearance of the fever, popularly known as kankasha*, outside of eastern Sudan since the outbreak has started in August.

Chikungunya

The outbreak of chikungunya began in August after heavy rains hit Sudan's eastern Kassala state and El Gash river flooded large pieces of land. In October, health sources told Radio Dabanga that the number of patients admitted to health centres and private clinics in the eastern Sudanese state was increasing. Government officials reported that at least 13,400 people in Kassala are infected with the mosquito-borne disease.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed in a report that laboratory tests of samples from the infected people in Sudan's Kassala state show cases of dengue fever along with chikungunya.

* Chikungunya is a virus transmitted by the same kind of mosquito that spreads dengue and Zika virus. It is characterised by an abrupt onset of fever, frequently accompanied by joint pain. There is no specific antiviral drug treatment for chikungunya. Treatment is directed primarily at relieving the symptoms, including the joint pain. Most patients recover fully within weeks, but in some cases joint pain may persist for several months, or even years. Serious complications are not common, but in older people, the disease can contribute to the cause of death

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