09:10 GMT +312 December 2019
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    Killer-Mosquitos: Sudan Faces Dangerous Tropical Disease

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    In August this year, the first cases of chikungunya fever were reported in the Sudanese province of Kassala. According to the media, the local government is not able to stem the spread of the viral disease, which could now spread to other provinces and neighbouring countries.

    Bakri Idris, a doctor from Kassala province and specialist in tropical diseases, told Sputnik that the main problem for Sudan is the similarity between the chikungunya and dengue fevers.

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    In the last few months, 120 Sudanese have died from chikungunya fever, while 15,000 have contracted the disease. The most affected groups are children and the elderly. The outbreak of the epidemic has been recorded in the province of Kassala. In autumn, the rainy season begins in the country, and with the increase in humidity, the mosquito population grows. Considering the lack of doctors, medicine and medical equipment, the disease has spread extremely rapidly.

    According to Bakri Idris, a physician in the area where the disease was registered, "in the early stages of its development, the disease can be confused with dengue fever; this mistake is often made by Sudanese doctors". He added that "the country's government has launched a campaign to disinfect mosquitoes, which are the main carriers of the virus".

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    "There are no specific drugs for this disease. There is no vaccine, and the therapy is essentially aimed at relieving pain, especially in the joints. What we do is try to alleviate the symptoms, while the immune system does the main job. We should fight against mosquitoes, as they are the main cause of the disease", the Sudanese doctor told Sputnik.

    As representative of the Sudanese Health Ministry Assam Abdullah told Sputnik, for 5 days, planes have been spraying insecticides over the province of Kassala to fight the mosquitoes. The country has spent 3 million Sudanese pounds (US$63,000) on the disinfestation campaign.

    The incubation period is usually a few days. The symptoms consist of a high fever, at 40°C, often accompanied by severe joint pains, as well as muscle aches and headaches, nausea, fatigue and rashes. Joint pain is often very intense and usually disappears after a few days or weeks. In most cases patients recover, but the pain can last for several months, or even years. Special cases of ocular, neurological, cardiac, and gastrointestinal disorders have been reported.

    The disease rarely leads to serious complications, but it can be lethal for elderly people.

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