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Haemorrhagic fever kills four in Central Darfur

October 7 - 2015 ZALINGEI
A patient at El Sareif Hospital in North Darfur (Albert González Farran/Unamid)
A patient at El Sareif Hospital in North Darfur (Albert González Farran/Unamid)

The Central Darfur Minister of Health has reported nine cases of haemorrhagic fever in the state.

Minister Eisa Mohamed Mousa told reporters in the Central Darfur capital of Zalingei on Tuesday that nine people suspected to be afflicted by haemorrhagic fever reached the state’s hospitals recently. Four of them died.

The Minister also reported increasing malaria rates, with 23,059 registered cases in the state. He pointed to other Central Darfur localities, especially Wadi Salih, where people, most of them children and the elderly, died of malaria and of a hitherto unknown disease characterised by high fever, severe headache, and vomiting.

Viruses

Viral haemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) are a group of illnesses caused by four families of viruses. These include Ebola and Marburg, Lassa fever, and yellow fever viruses. Some viruses that cause haemorrhagic fever can spread from one person to another. Ebola, Marburg, Lassa and Crimean-Congo viruses are examples.

VHFs have common features: they affect many organs, they damage the blood vessels, and they affect the body's ability to regulate itself. While some types of haemorrhagic fever viruses can cause relatively mild illnesses, many of these viruses cause severe, life-threatening disease.

Specific signs and symptoms vary by the type of VHF, but initial signs and symptoms often include marked fever, fatigue, dizziness, muscle aches, loss of strength, and exhaustion. Patients with severe cases of VHF often show signs of bleeding under the skin or from the mouth, eyes, or ears. However, patients rarely die because of blood loss. Severely ill patients may show shock, nervous system malfunction, coma, and seizures.


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