Another Pandemic? WHO Fears 'Outbreak' After Mysterious Disease Kills 89 in Sudan

WHO has feared an 'outbreak' after a mysterious disease killed 89 in the African country of Sudan.

A 'mysterious disease' that has claimed 89 lives so far in Sudan has raised concerns as WHO deployed a rapid response task force in the country to investigate the disease. According to The New York Post, a fast-spreading 'unknown' illness was reported by the Health Ministry of Sudan in the northern town of Fangak, in the Jonglei state. Local scientists haven't been able to identify the disease.

The region where the 'mysterious disease' is said to have originated was recently hit by floods. Local health officials in Fangak noted the samples tested taken for testing from the area to help identify the disease came back negative for Cholera. The WHO has raised alarm on a possible 'outbreak' of the said 'mysterious disease.'

A spokesperson for the WHO, Sheila Baya told BBC that the team of scientists sent by the WHO had to reach the area via a helicopter due to the flooding. She also added that the group is awaiting transport to return to the capital Juba on Wednesday, December 15. The UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) stated that more than 835,000 people in Sudan are affected by the flooding since May, according to BBC.

Flooding in Sudan
Flooding in Sudan Screen grab - OCHA via BBC

Food shortages, acute malnutrition

The minister of land in Sudan, Lam Tungwar Kueigwong, noted that a surge in the spread of deadly diseases like Malaria has been recorded post the flood. Also, the food shortages across the states caused by the floods are leading to severe malnutrition in children. Not only this, but oil from the fields has contaminated the water causing the deaths of domestic animals.

The outbreak of waterborne diseases

According to The Sun, the International charity Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), who are operating in the area, said that the malnutrition level has crossed level two times the WHO threshold. South Sudan might suffer a catastrophic humanitarian crisis following the extreme floods that have hit the country a third consecutive year.

Multiple aid agencies have warned that the dangerous situation in Sudan might cause a deadly outbreak of waterborne diseases, led by food shortages and malnutrition.