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South Darfur denies hemorrhagic fever outbreak

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October 22, 2015 (NYALA) - South Darfur health authorities denied hemorrhagic fever outbreak in the state and reiterated its readiness to control the disease.

Saleh Mohamed Hamid (18 years old) from Gocker, West Darfur, is being assisted at El Geneina Hospital on 14 November 2012, after getting infected with the Yellow Fever (Photo UNAMID)

In statements to Sudan Tribune on Thursday, South Darfur health minister Yacoub Ibrahim al-Dmoki stressed that the "state is free of viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF) diseases", adding they are "closely monitoring the situation" .

However, al-Dmoki confirmed the arrival of a federal medical team to Nyala on its way to East Darfur state to investigate reports about a VHF outbreak there.

The VHF is a general term for a severe illness, sometimes associated with bleeding, that may be caused by a number of viruses. The term is applied to diseases such as Lassa fever, Rift Valley fever, Ebola, yellow fever, and dengue among others.

In 2012, an outbreak of yellow fever hit the troubled region of western Sudan killing some 171 people. The federal health ministry and World Health Organization (WHO) reported that there had been 847 suspected cases.

Director of the Epidemiology Department in East Darfur state Mohamed Joda told Sudan Tribune that the state didn’t witness new cases of hemorrhagic fever disease but admitted that it killed one person who died in a hospital in the capital Khartoum where he had been transported for treatment since more than a week ago.

Referring to the one-week incubation period of a viral infection, Joda further said that none of his family members has contracted the disease. Also, he ruled out its spread in the region.

Federal health minister Bahr Idriss Abu Garda recently said he directed to dispatch health teams to the five states of Darfur to investigate the hemorrhagic fever disease after the death of several people there.

Aby Garda said the teams will prepare detailed reports and recommend the appropriate actions to be enforced there.

After the yellow fever outbreak of 2012, the health ministry and WHO said the disease of mosquito-borne yellow fever has been concentrated in central Darfur.

There is no effective treatment for the hemorrhagic fever, but there is a vaccine. But the 12-year armed conflict prevents the vaccination of children in the rebel-held areas.

Nearly half the yellow fever cases were in people between the ages of 15 and 30, it said, and about a quarter were children aged five to 15, said a joint report about the yellow fever outbreak released in January 2013.

(ST)

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