South Sudan investigating suspected Viral Haemorrhagic Fever outbreak

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South Sudan is investigating a potential outbreak of viral haemorrhagic fever (VHF) in Yirol East County and Eastern Lakes State.

Following reports of an outbreak in Thonabutkok village, Yirol East County, on 28 December 2017, a multi-sector response was launched by the Ministry of Health, WHO and health experts to establish the cause of deaths in three people and the reported deaths of some animals.

Suspected VHF outbreak

Health officials quickly responded to reports of an outbreak by identifying individuals who came into close contact with the three people suspected to have died from VHF to take blood samples and monitor their condition.

The investigation team is yet to confirm the source of the suspected outbreak but it says none of the close contacts to the suspected VHF deaths have developed any symptoms so far. Investigators also say that everyone tested for VHF – including Ebola, Marburg, Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever, Rift Valley Fever and Sosuga viruses – have been negative.

An additional team from the National Ministry of Health, Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries has been established to coordinate, monitor and supervise the response in Yirol East county. While public awareness has been heightened to ensure anyone who has suspected VHF symptoms to contact health authorities – or on behalf of anyone they know experiencing them.

Featured image: Public domain

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.