Chikungunya fever, Kala Azar spreading in eastern Sudan
Kassala state is hit by a chikungunya epidemic. People in central El Gedaref complain about an increase of Kala Azar cases.
A health source reported to Radio Dabanga from Kassala that the chikungunya virus*, locally known as kankasha, is spreading in an unprecedented manner.
“You find patients in each and every home in Kassala,” he said. “The health centres and clinics in the state are overcrowded.”
Other listeners affirmed the rapid spread of the disease and attributed the problem to “the terrible deterioration of the environment and the dense spread of mosquitoes carrying the disease”.
They strongly criticised the state government for not carrying out spraying campaigns and providing appropriate medical care for the patients.
People in West El Gallabat locality in El Gedaref have complained of the spread of Kala Azar**.
A resident from Bandagi in confirmed that the area has recorded eight new cases of the disease this week. He pointed to the difficulty of transferring patients to neighbouring areas because of the isolation of the region as a result of the flood of El Rahad River.
The source said there has been environmental degradation and degradation, lack of health care and medical personnel.
- Chikungunya is a virus transmitted by the same kinds of mosquitoes that spread dengue and Zika virus. It is characterised by an abrupt onset of fever, frequently accompanied by joint pain. There is no specific antiviral drug treatment for chikungunya. Treatment is directed primarily at relieving the symptoms, including the joint pain. Most patients recover fully within weeks, but in some cases joint pain may persist for several months, or even years. Serious complications are not common, but in older people, the disease can contribute to the cause of death.
** Visceral leishmaniosis, also known as “black fever”, is a parasitic disease, killing nearly all of those infected. It is caused by the bite of sand-flies. If blood containing leishmanial parasites is drawn from an animal or human, the next person to receive a bite will then become infected and develop leishmaniosis. Months after this initial infection the disease can progress into the more severe form of kala-azar.