Mysterious illness rapidly spreading in Kassala

Altaghyeer: Salih Amar

Altaghyeer acquired information from medical sources and locals in Kassala confirming the rapid spreading of a mysterious disease in the western part of the city contracted by hundreds of locals in the past few days.

An anonymous medical source revealed that symptoms include “pain and severe joint rigor”, indicating that patients were firstly admitted with the illness eight days ago and doctors at that time thought they had rheumatism manifestations. And he added “we immediately noticed the strange nature of the disease and its rapid spread, also laboratory test on some patients proved that they don’t have malaria, which is quite common in the area”, and he said the disease is spreading in parts of Banat and Western Ghash neighborhoods, which are considered the most populated in Kassala. The doctor who refused to give his name in fear of penalties, expressed his surprise of the silence of the ministry of health and officials on an issue that became widely known within the medical field in Kassala, adding “thank God despite the large number of patients no fatalities were reported but the prognosis of this mysterious illness is unknown and it could be open to all possibilities”.

In a related context, one of Banat neighborhood inhabitants (western Kassala) said that the illness is widespread in their area. And revealed that the first case reported in his family was two weeks ago and from there it quickly flared up claiming many others, “personally my aunt, my uncle’s wife and her daughter all fell ill, the latest to contract it is my cousin who fell ill last Monday morning and he is currently at the hospital, and many other neighbors and acquaintances are on the list of victims”. Our source pointed out the state of horror they are living in because of the disease which causes a temporary paralysis and joint pain, adding that doctors could not make a diagnosis in the cases of patients admitted to the hospital.

In western Ghash neighborhood one individual revealed the close relationship with two of the disease’s victims, which he confirmed is widespread in a number of areas on the western bank of Ghash River. Pointing out that locals suspect that the illness is transmitted by mosquitoes.

Meanwhile, no explanation or comment was issued from relevant government authorities, and a reliable source confirmed that the spread of the illness was reported to those authorities by doctors.

An epidemiology specialist anticipated the occurrence of many epidemic cases in the coming period referencing floods overwhelming Kassala State weeks ago. And he stressed that the situation requires an urgent intervention by Federal Epidemics and Emergencies department, however, he said “this unfortunately will not happen, according to past experiences, unless the epidemic claims a lot of victims”.

On another matter, doctors in Kassala hospital continue their strike for the fifth day due to the failure to prosecute security personnel accused of assaulting doctors at the hospital. And according to a statement issued by Sudan’s Doctors Central Committee “a number of co-patients accompanied by a number of security and intelligence personnel assaulted doctors working at the general surgery department at Kassala teaching hospital which led to serious injuries sustained on the head and face among a number of doctors, also the resident physician Mukashfi was detained by security”. The incident reportedly occurred after “co-patients complained about the delay of an appendicitis operation on their patient, for reasons beyond doctor’s control, and actually related to arrangements and preparations for anesthesia, and it is noteworthy that an appendicitis operation isn’t an emergency to a point that provokes co-patients to rush doctors and eventually assault them in a move that crosses the law, norms and ethics” according the statement.



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