Mysterious pandemic strikes Uganda

world | Mar 20, 2012 | By Martin Barillas

A mysterious disease is claiming the lives of children in northern Uganda, southern Sudan and Tanzania. It is a deadly pandemic which has not yet been identified and registered for the first time in 2003: Nod syndrome a.k.a. nodding disease. So far experts have failed to cure or contain it. It affects only children between 5 and 15 years of age causing uncontrollable spasms leading to death. Moreover, the convulsions from which the victims are affected are strong enough to cause unconsciousness, thus exposing them to various accidents such as burns or drowning, often leading causes of death.

Currently, although the data reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, speak of 194 cases, there are thousands of children and teenagers who suffer from it. Initially, the CDC suspected that it was a kind of collective hysteria. Shortly after, by scanning the brain performed on patients, it showed that it is a disease that causes a strong brain atrophy.

The number of cases is increasing, and an American physician who took part in the global campaign in Asia against bird flu, is now busy with the Ugandan authorities to fight the syndrome. He said that the Nodding disease is one of six mysterious illnesses that the CDC is studying. Unlike bird flu, the pandemic shows no signs of infection from person to person, therefore not a threat to the population. 

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