A pregnant woman, a 13-year-old girl and a 15-year-old teenage boy have died in a suspected viral hemorrhagic fever outbreak that has struck a village in South Sudan.
Authorities are monitoring 60 people that were in contact with the victims of the mysterious illness. There was no history of close physical contact between the cases and no cases had a notable travel history. No samples were collected from the cases and supervised burials were not performed.
‘Three cases of a suspected viral hemorrhagic fever, epidemiologically linked by time and place, were reported from South Sudan.’
No symptoms were reported among the close contacts of the cases during the course of their clinical illnesses or since their deaths. Sixty contacts were identified and are being followed up by a surveillance team comprised of Ministry of Health and WHO staff.
The investigation found evidence of zoonotic hemorrhagic illness, including two abortions among goats and sheep, and eight goat deaths with evidence of extensive hemorrhage, and one ill cow. Deaths among wild birds were also reported during the time that the cluster of cases was detected.
"No tissue or blood samples were collected from their bodies for analysis, and South Sudan health authorities reported the cases on Dec. 28," WHO said.
"The outbreak of suspected viral hemorrhagic fever in South Sudan could rapidly evolve, and critical information including laboratory confirmation of the etiology of disease is needed to direct response efforts," it added.