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A total of 13 people have been reported dead in Abim and Agago districts, following an outbreak of a strange disease in Abim. 20 cases have been reported in Abim district, out of whom 8 have already died. In neighbouring Agago district, 5 cases have been reported in the sub counties of Omiya P'Chua and Paimol, which border Abim district. Emmanuel Okech, an official from the Abim district health office, said out of the 20 cases, 8 have died, 2 have been quarantined, and another 10 have been discharged after their conditions improved. According to Okech, the affected persons have high fever, vomit blood, pass bloody stools, and also bleed from other openings like the nose and ears. "The victims usually die between 3 and 5 days and are suspected to be highly contagious," Okech said. Last week [week ending 14 Nov 2010], a team from the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health went to Abim and are investigating the disease. According to Okech, samples were taken to the Uganda Virus Research Institute, but there is still no clue as to what disease is affecting the people there. "We were suspecting viral hemorrhagic infection, but results from the Uganda Virus Research Institute have ruled out Ebola, Marburg, and Lassa," Okech said. He said samples from the affected persons have now been flown to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. On [Tue 16 Nov 2010], the district health officer of Agago district, Dr Emmanuel Otto, announced that 5 people had died in Paimol and Omiya P'Chua from infections similar to those reported in Abim. Dr. Otto said he was also expecting a team of doctors from the World Health Organization and the Health Ministry in Agago to go to the affected sub-counties and conduct tests to ascertain the nature of the disease. According to Emmanuel Okech, more than 10 percent of patients treated in Abim Hospital are from neighboring Agago district, raising suspicions that the 5 who died in Agago could have contracted the disease while they went for treatment in Abim Hospital. Meanwhile, authorities in Abim district have put up an isolation center for those suspected to have contracted the disease.
Dozens of children in Fayoum Governorate have contracted an unknown viral disease with symptoms similar to that of the common cold. They have been detained in local hospitals. The General Hospital of Fayoum Governorate has notified the Department of Health in Fayoum Youm7 newspaper, quoting an official source at Fayoum's Health Department, reported that dozens of children in Fayoum Governorate have contracted an illness with common cold-like symptoms. They are not responding to treatment including several days of nutritional care in hospital. The official source added that this new type of virus has not been identified, and reported that hospitals in different parts of the province have admitted 30-40 children daily who are suffering from this so far undiagnosed disease. More than 200 children are now under treatment. The Directorate of Health in Fayoum is being urged to take action and declare an emergency situation in anticipation of the increasing number of children affected by this disease.
The Ministry of Health is warning parents and guardians of a new viral illness, affecting children. The ministry says children generally get high fever, rashes or blisters on the palm of their hands, soles of their feet and around the mouth with seizers in severe cases. Spokesperson Peni Namotu says there has been 20-30 cases per month since October this year, with a handful of cases requiring admissions. “Viral illness can be mistaken for chicken pox or scabies but parents need to seek medical attention if their children experience high fever with the peculiar rash especially if seizures or fits occur.” He adds experts believe the illness is spread from person to person by direct contact. Namotu is advising the general public to take preventative measures and visit the nearest health centre if any of the symptoms present themselves.
A mystery viral illness affecting young children has left local doctors baffled as they await test results of the virus from a laboratory in Australia. Ministry of Health media officer Peni Namotu confirmed there was now an outbreak of the illness which Fiji was experiencing for the first time. He said children who suffered the illness had high fever, rashes or blisters on their hands, soles of the feet and around the mouth and in severe cases, suffered seizure or fits. "There have been about 20-30 cases per month for October and November seen in the children's hospital and health centres with a handful requiring admissions because of associated seizure (fits), high fever and other complications," said Mr Namotu. Surveillance confirmed clinics in Suva and parts of Viti Levu reported cases of the illness. "The disease usually begins with a fever, poor appetite, malaise (feeling vaguely unwell), and often with a sore throat," he said.