by VR Sreeraman on  November 5, 2007 at 12:29 PM Tropical Disease News
Mysterious Disease Kills Five in Angola, More Than 100 Affected
An unidentified disease has killed five people and led to more than 100 being hospitalised over the past two weeks in the outskirts of the Angolan capital Luanda, health officials said Saturday.

'We don't know what it is at this stage', Luanda health official Vita Vemba told state radio, while announcing the setting up of a special commission comprising health, environment and local government officials.

The independent financial daily A Capital on Saturday blamed pollution in city's Cacuaco quarter for the rash of illnesses.

Two weeks ago, Cacuaco residents began complaining of a foul smelling 'green thick smoke' emanating from the chimney of a petroleum unit in the area, the director of the newspaper, Tandala Francisco, told AFP.

The factory has since been closed.

Symptoms including 'sleepiness, tiredness and difficulty with speech,' witnesses told A Capital. Authorities meanwhile refused comment.

Vemba however dispelled fears of a cholera or fever outbreak.

Oil-rich Angola's sole refinery is located in Cacuaco.

Source: AFP

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