The World Health Organization has deployed a rapid response task force to South Sudan to investigate a mysterious illness that has left at least 89 people dead.
The ministry of health in South Sudan has reported fast-spreading illness in the northern town of Fangak, in the Jonglei state, which local scientists haven’t been able to identify.
The region was recently hit with severe flooding — with health officials tasked with gathering samples to help identify the deadly disease.
Local health officials in Fangak said initial samples from the sick returned negative results for cholera.
Sheila Baya, a spokesperson for the WHO, spoke to the BBC, saying the team of scientists had to reach Fangak via helicopter due to the flooding.
She added that the group is waiting for transport to return them to the capital, Juba, on Wednesday.
She said: “We decided to send a rapid response team to go and do risk assessment and investigation.
“That is when they will be able to collect samples from the sick people — but provisionally the figure that we got was that there were 89 deaths.”