Home | News    Thursday 22 October 2009

South Sudan mysterious disease was a rumor - officials

October 21, 2009 (JUBA) – Southern Sudan health ministry said there are no evidence to support reports about Ebola outbreak in the semi autonomous region. The officials said the mysterious disease was just a rumor.

GOSS ministry of health sent a medical team to the remote village of Kitkit in western Bahr el Ghazal State where reportedly 23 people were died from a mysterious illness suspected to be Ebola.

"Our team went there and they did not find any cases ... They did not find any deaths as was reported ... They concluded there was no Ebola," said Atem Nathan the ministry official charged with investigating the outbreak.

The Southern Sudanese official told Reuters that the mission found no sign for the disease. He further said the report, which is now turned to rumor, was a cry to draw the attention of the concerned authorities on the need for medical care there.

"It is the lack of services that turns into these rumors," he said, adding that during the Sudan’s long north-south civil war, communities sometimes made up outbreaks to attract humanitarian assistance to their areas.

South Sudan’s army spokesperson said they reached the same conclusion, after investigating the case there.

"It seems that the report by both the local county administration and the SPLA command about the deaths of the 23 soldiers was something to draw attention ... to the acute lack of medicine in Raja County," said SPLA spokesman Kuol Diem Kuol.

"They have succeeded. Now medicines are being taken there." He further said.

(ST)