US medical experts in Malawi to investigate bizarre virus

centres_for_disease_controlFive American medical experts are in Malawi to conduct full investigations on a strange disease that has so far claimed lives of over 15 people in Neno district and the neighbouring Mozambique.

The five environmental health and neurology experts arrived in the country on July 20 and have already conducted a full investigation on the outbreak.

The United States (US) Embassy Office in Lilongwe said the specialists were brought into the country through the Centre for Disease Control (DCD) in response to a request from the Malawi Government for an intervention on the matter.

An undiagnosed disease broke out in Neno some three months ago and so far about 10 Malawians and nine Mozambicans have died after being attacked by the strange disease.

And close to 100 people in Neno district and about 40 in Tsangano district in Mozambique have so far been affected since the disease was first reported in May this year.

Affected people display unusual symptoms with neurological complications. However, patients with such symptoms have been treated with antibiotics and given supportive care including rehydration.

Initial laboratory and radiology examinations have not indicated any specific illness but the American experts have collected new samples which have been shipped to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the USA for analysis.

The Ministry of Health collected blood samples for further testing in Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa, whose results were negative.

The CDCs official response includes specialists in the relevant health fields working with host country health officials to deal with epidemiological investigation, diagnosis and laboratory support, treatment and containment of the outbreak, says a media statement from the US Embassy.

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