"Ebola-like" virus outburst with lethal outcome in Sudan

World Health Organization said at least 10 cases of an Ebola-like virus have been reported in southern Sudan, where four people have died from the infection.

The WHO's office for southern Sudan said health authorities in Yambio county in Western Equatoria province reported a total of 15 patients suffering symptoms similar to Ebola, which can kill up to 90 percent of its victims.

Laboratory tests conducted in Kenya and at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "confirmed an Ebola-like infection in 10 of the 15 cases," the WHO said in a statement.

"They both agreed that the virus involved is within the family of Ebola, but they still need to make some genetic sequencing to tell us exactly...we hope to get final confirmation within 48 hours," Abdullahi Ahmed, head of the WHO's southern Sudan office, reports Reuters.

The symptoms of the illness around Yambio include general malaise, fever, vomiting blood and bloody diarrhea, Ahmed said.

Further tests are being carried out at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and the results are expected over the weekend, he said.

The WHO statement said there had been no new cases reported for the last three days. The most recent case began on May 15.

Southern Sudan has been wracked by civil war since 1983; thousands of people are periodically displaced by fighting, and public health facilities are rare.

Last May, health experts identified a disease that killed 22 people in southern Sudan as yellow fever.

In 2000, an Ebola outbreak killed 173 people in Gulu district in northern Uganda, informs Canada.com

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Author`s name: Editorial Team