Almost 100 killed by mystery disease as WHO probes unknown condition

Don’t miss a thing by getting the Daily Star’s biggest headlines straight to your inbox!

An investigation has launched in South Sudan after nearly 100 people were killed by a mystery disease.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has sent a task force to the country in a bid to identify the unexplained illness which has caused 89 deaths so far.

A rapid response team of scientists has been distributed to the northern town of Fangak in Jonglei state to collect samples from those who had fallen ill.

But local health officials in the town said initial samples from those who are sick, had come back negative for cholera, reports BBC.

Sheila Baya, of WHO, said: "We decided to send a rapid response team to go and do risk assessment and investigation; that is when they will be able to collect samples from the sick people – but provisionally the figure that we got was that there were 89 deaths."

She went on to say that the group of scientists had to travel by helicopter to reach Fangak due to severe flooding in the area – she said the team had to then wait for transport to take them back to the capital Juba on Wednesday.

It has been reported that severe floods have boosted the spread of diseases such as malaria in the bordering state of Unity.

Lam Tungwar Kueigwong, the state's minister of land, housing and public utilities said the flooding has sparked food shortages which have led to malnutrition in children.

  • Unusual Covid symptom reported in many of those infected by Omicron variant

Communities have also been cut off from accessing essential supplies due to the flooding in the north of South Sudan.

It has further been reported that domestic animals have died after oil from the fields in the region had contaminated the water.

International charity Médecins Sans Frontières believes the floods have now impacted health facilities due to the illnesses caused which have put pressure on them.

  • Boris Johnson says Brits have to wear masks again as mutated Omicron variant hits UK

For the latest breaking news and stories from across the globe from the Daily Star, sign up for our newsletter by clicking here.

A spokesperson said: "We are extremely concerned about malnutrition, with severe acute malnutrition levels two times the WHO threshold, and the number of children admitted to our hospital with severe malnutrition doubling since the start of the floods."

Mother of five Nyatuak Koang said the floods have forced her to move homes twice and said her family "don't have anywhere to sleep".

She added: "We don't have any mosquito nets and we don't have material to cover our house."

UN refugee agency UNHCR has blamed climate change for the disastrous flooding and said over 700,000 people have been hit by the worst flooding in the country for almost 60 years.

  • World Health Organisation

Source: Read Full Article