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Whooping cough outbreak in North Darfur's El Sereif

November 5 - 2015 EL SEREIF BENI HUSSEIN
Medical checks at Kalma camp for the displaced in Nyala locality, South Darfur (Albert González Farran/Unamid).
Medical checks at Kalma camp for the displaced in Nyala locality, South Darfur (Albert González Farran/Unamid).

As of 28 October, 410 cases of whooping cough have been reported in El Sereif Beni Hussein locality, according to the Sudanese Ministry of Health (SMoH).

The outbreak started early September and has affected all age groups including infants, children and adults. No deaths have been reported so far, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported in its latest weekly bulletin.

Out of the 14 samples collected, four tested positive for whooping cough. About half (193) of all cases have been reported in the El Hariga village where the outbreak started. The remaining cases are from eight neighbouring villages. The majority of cases are of people under 15 years.

In response, the SMoH, WHO, and health partners on the ground are implementing a three-month action plan in the locality. MoH and WHO teams have been deployed to the locality to assist in the response activities. Médecins Sans Frontières Spain (MSF-Spain) has initiated case management and community awareness-raising activities.

Between 17-22 October, the MoH vaccinated more than 16,600 children under five years. The rate of transmission seems to be decreasing, according to WHO.

Highly contagious

Whooping cough is a highly contagious bacterial disease of the respiratory tract that occurs mainly in infants and young children and is easily transmitted from person to person through droplets.

The first symptoms generally appear 7–10 days after infection, and include a mild fever, runny nose, and a cough followed by whooping, hence the common name of whooping cough.

Untreated patients may be contagious for three weeks or more following onset of the cough. Whooping cough can be prevented by immunisation.


 


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