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Tipsheet

Uh, What's This Mystery Illness That's Hit Sudan?

AP Photo/Sam Mednick

We have Omicron spreading through the country like wildfire, but there's a new illness that has struck South Sudan. Nearly 100 people have died. Details are scarce, but it was serious enough for the World Health Organization to deploy a team to investigate. There's no need to panic, but in an era where viruses are top daily news items—this is unwelcome news. 

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News of this mystery illness was reported last week (via NY Post): 

The ministry of health in South Sudan has reported fast-spreading illness in the northern town of Fangak, in the Jonglei state, which local scientists haven’t been able to identify.

The region was recently hit with severe flooding — with health officials tasked with gathering samples to help identify the deadly disease.

Local health officials in Fangak said initial samples from the sick returned negative results for cholera. 

Sheila Baya, a spokesperson for the WHO, spoke to the BBC, saying the team of scientists had to reach Fangak via helicopter due to the flooding.

She added that the group is waiting for transport to return them to the capital, Juba, on Wednesday.

She said: “We decided to send a rapid response team to go and do risk assessment and investigation.

“That is when they will be able to collect samples from the sick people — but provisionally the figure that we got was that there were 89 deaths.”

The minister of land, Lam Tungwar Kueigwong, said severe floods have increased the spread of diseases such as malaria and caused malnutrition in children due to food shortages across the northern states.

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And that's the hope, right? That it's not some new contagious disease, merely one that accompanies bad sanitation practices and historic flooding. It's still tragic, nonetheless. 

The other issue here is the WHO, the Chinese-bought organization that lied to the world about COVID being a virus that wasn't transmitted between people in the early stages of the pandemic in early 2020. I don't know if that tweet is still up. It should be deleted with a correction. It's a known fact that China bought the 2017 director-general race. They have their people in there, which has eroded the credibility of the body significantly. Then again, everyone in the expert community has stepped on a rake with COVID. We'll keep you updated. 

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