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South Sudan steps up Ebola surveillance

Nicola Mandil BBC News, Juba

South Sudan’s health officials are testing samples from five people to see if they have contracted the Ebola virus.

The suspected cases were detected in three regional states bordering neighbouring Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, local media reported.

Uganda is currently dealing with an outbreak of the haemorrhagic fever. Forty-three cases have been confirmed and nine deaths have been recorded.

But in South Sudan, no case has been confirmed so far.

Mabior Kiir, the head of planning and information at the Public Health Emergency Operation Centre told reporters in the capital, Juba, that one suspected case was detected in Eastern Equatoria state’s Nimule town on the border with Uganda.

One case was from Yambio, capital of Western Equatoria atate, which borders DR Congo. The remaining three cases were detected in Yei and Kajokeji towns in Central Equatoria state which also share borders with DR Congo and Uganda.

Mr Mabior disclosed that one of the ill patients identified from Kajokeji had died. But it was not clear whether that person died of Ebola.

The health authorities in South Sudan said they are intensifying surveillance and screening at border entry points with Uganda in an effort to detect any suspected cases of Ebola.

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