Disease claims 20 in Moz

2009-08-17 12:17

Maputo - An unidentified disease in the Tsangano district of Mozambique's north-western Tete province has claimed 20 lives since May, the daily independent O Pais reported on Monday.

According to the Maputo-based paper, health authorities have sent samples to South Africa and are still waiting for laboratory results.

The disease has claimed 20 lives out of 142 cases reported since May, the report said citing health authorities in the province.

The disease attacks the central nervous system. In the early stages its symptoms are similar to malaria, including abdominal pain. In its advanced stage, one of the symptoms is the loss of voice.

The paper suggested the outbreak of the disease could have begun in the region of Maujete, in Tsangano, where there are no nearby clinics.

Some of the patients have been taken to a district hospital in Neno, in neighbouring Malawi, for treatment, said the paper.