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Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:34 AM

Baffling Illness Strikes Africa, Turns Children Into Violent "Zombies"

Jason Mick (Blog) - March 20, 2012 9:11 PM


World Health Organization is on high alert about new Ugandan outbreak, cause is not fully known

It's called the "nodding disease" and it's a baffling illness that has struck thousands of children in northern Uganda. The illness brings on seizures, violent behavior, personality changes, and a host of other unusual symptoms.

I. Violent and Mindless: Child Victims Have no Cure, no Future

Grace Lagat, a northern Uganda native, is mother of two children -- Pauline Oto and Thomas -- both of whom are victims of the disease. For their safety, when she leaves the house, she now ties them up, using fabric like handcuffs. She recalls, "When I am going to the garden, I tie them with cloth. If I don't tie them I come back and find that they have disappeared."

Reportedly the children gnaw at their fabric restraints, like a rabid animals -- or "zombies" of popular fiction -- in an attempt to escape.

The effort to restrain the children is not unwarranted. In one of the most bizarre symptoms of this tragic illness, children with the disease are reportedly setting fire to buildings in their communities. Coupled with the aimless wandering this disease provokes in victims, this is a deadly combination. More than 200 people have been killed in fires believed to be set by the zombified children.


more

http://www.dailytech.com/Baffling+Illness+Strikes+Africa+Turns+Children+Into+Violent+Zombies/article24276.htm

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Reply Baffling Illness Strikes Africa, Turns Children Into Violent "Zombies" (Original post)
n2doc Mar 2012 OP
hlthe2b Mar 2012 #1
cbayer Mar 2012 #4
Warpy Mar 2012 #5
liberalmuse Mar 2012 #2
cbayer Mar 2012 #3
MineralMan Mar 2012 #6
cbayer Mar 2012 #7

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:38 AM

1. Sounds like a form of encephalitis...

I hope WHO (and possibly joined by CDC) can get in there an do a thorough epidemiological investigation.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 01:03 PM

4. CDC is being ratcheted down due to budget cuts.

My daughter's TB detection and prevention program in Kenya is being closed completely. I am going to ask her what she knows about this.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 07:51 PM

5. I've read about this in other articles

and the WHO is investigating it, sadly without the CDC this time. However, other countries with socialized medicine top to bottom are investigating it and the feeling is that it's a new variety of encephalitis.

The other articles have said that most hospitalized children eventually recover with no memory of what they endured during the illness, much like other varieties of encephalitis where treatment is supportive until the patient recovers. Sadly, they recover with retardation and stunted physical growth.

It's probably just one more very old disease that was allowed to resurface by war, hunger, and changing social conditions.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:52 AM

2. This was my nightmare last week..

And I was thinking, WTF? Kind of freaks me out! I hope they find a cause.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 01:01 PM

3. Thousands of children??

This is really bizarre.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 09:38 AM

6. It sounds like some sort of brain infection...

Very strange. I hope the find the cause soon and can figure out some sort of treatment. If this is affecting thousands of children, it has to be infectious, I'd think.

Children of the Corn Syndrome, maybe.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Mon Mar 26, 2012, 09:27 PM

7. Response from my daughter with the CDC in Kenya about this

Nodding Disease is bad news. The etiology is still a mystery. "Zombie disease" is not a correct characterization though...typical of the media! Atlanta and CDC Uganda have conducted several epi investigations - and as far as I know, the data is still being analyzed (with more studies proposed), but risk factors are pointing towards exposure to Onchocerca Volvulus and possibly vitamin deficiencies. It's only been reported in parts of Uganda and Sudan (maybe Somalia too?). Lots of questions still to be answered.

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