Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Kala Azar outbreak claims more than 300 lives in Southern Sudan

Please take precautions if you are working in places like this

At Yahoo Starting Point

“The fact that we see these high numbers so early, in the traditional low season of the disease, indicate that we are on the brink of a massive outbreak later in the year,” Koert Ritmeijer, a health adviser for Doctors Without Borders, said.

Health officials are struggling to contain and treat an outbreak of a parasitic tropical disease in Southern Sudan, The Associated Press reported.

More than 6,000 cases of Kala Azar have been reported, making it the worst outbreak in the region since 1991. According to the World Health Organization, 303 people have died from it since September 2009.

Largely unknown in the developed world, leishmaniasis is transmitted by the bite of certain types of sandflies that live in forest areas in sub-tropical and tropical climates. Visceral leishmaniasis — the most severe form of the disease — is also known as Kala Azar, which means “black fever” in Hindi. Patients with Kala Azar suffer from high fever, fatigue, anemia, swelling of the liver and spleen and are often described as “wasting away.” The majority of cases in Southern Sudan involve patients under the age of 17.

Nine out of 10 Kala Azar patients will die within weeks if they do not receive proper treatment, the most common of which is sodium stibogluconate. The drug is injected into patients over the course of a month, but it is expensive, exceedingly painful and can cause toxic reactions.

November 11, 2010 - Posted by | Africa, Civilian Contractors, Leishmaniasis, Sudan, Toxic | , ,

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