[IWAR] KENYA hot zone

From: Michael Wilson (MWILSON/0005514706at_private)
Date: Wed Dec 24 1997 - 09:34:16 PST

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                     Kenya trying to identify lethal mystery disease
          Copyright ) 1997 Nando.net
          Copyright ) 1997 Reuters
       NAIROBI (December 24, 1997 08:24 a.m. EST http://www.nando.net) - Kenya
       medical authorities working with the United Nations and aid agencies are
       investigating a disease that has killed at least 143 people in three
       months, officials said Wednesday.
       The U.N. World Health Organization (WHO), top Kenyan medical officials
       and the aid agencies Oxfam and Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF-Doctors
       without Frontiers) were trying to identify the disease, aid and
       government officials said.
       At least 143 people have died in North Eastern Province since torrential
       rains linked to the El Nino weather phenomenon began in October, senior
       regional officials said.
       "We don't know what the cause is and the most logical way of going about
       it is getting someone there and doing an epidemiological investigation,"
       said Dr. Dominic Mutie of the WHO's disease control unit.
       "They complain of severe headache, diarrhea and vomiting and then they
       die. We think it is severe malaria. We have a lot of mosquitoes and
       dirty water and that is what people are drinking," North Eastern deputy
       provincial commissioner John Chege told Reuters.
       The Daily Nation on Wednesday said 28 more people had died of the
       "mystery disease," apparently since Monday.
       Newspapers have linked the disease to Ebola or 11 other possible
       But WHO argued that only investigation could identify the disease and
       said reporting of casualty figures was highly speculative.
       "A lot of the reports are being given by local chiefs and they think
       that anyone who dies is branded with this disease ... Data has not been
       properly collected," said Mutie.
       Malaria is endemic to Kenya, but recent heavy rains have significantly
       increased the incidence of many water-borne diseases. WHO said last week
       that 555 people had been killed by cholera in Kenya since the end of

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