1999 - Relapsing fever (previously reported as acute haemorrhagic fever syndrome) in southern Sudan - Update
29 April 1999
Disease Outbreak Reported
A joint investigation by WHO, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) identified relapsing fever as the cause of fever of unknown origin in Rumbek county, southern Sudan.
Six patients from 3 different locations were tested positive for Borrelia sp. by microscopy in the field. While the number of cases of relapsing fever was found to be declining, the disease is still occurring in small clusters throughout the county. Disease activity may continue in the area leading to further large outbreaks if there are gatherings of large numbers of people with poor hygiene facilities.
The investigation team and the local authority have launched a control programme including: training of local health workers in diagnosis, treatment and delousing techniques; strengthening the surveillance system; co-ordinating epidemic response; and securing adequate supplies of erythromycin and permethrin delousing powder. An action plan for improved epidemic preparedness, detection and response has been proposed.