An unknown pathogen has infected more than 80 people and killed two children in the Afghan province of Zabul, Taliban authorities said.
The disease causes intense fever and bleeding from the mouth and nose.
Taliban public health chief Abdul Hakim Hakimi said that clinics in the Shahjoy district of the province have seen a sharp increase in the numbers of people suffering from the “suspicious” disease in recent weeks.
Two patients died of the illness over the last week, both were children.
Afghanistan is one of the world’s least developed countries, and its public healthcare system was almost entirely funded by foreign donors until the Taliban seized power following the US withdrawal in 2021.
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The World Health Organization now considers Afghanistan’s health system“on the brink of collapse,” reporting that fewer than one in five state clinics are still open and diseases like polio are endemic.
Zabul Province was previously hit by an unknown disease this summer, with at least 200 people in Shahjoy coming down with cholera-like symptoms in May. Doctors blamed the outbreak on poor hygiene.
An outbreak of pertussis, or whooping cough, infected 300 people in Zabul in late November, claiming the lives of two children.
Back in July, the outbreak of an unknown disease took the lives of 20 children in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province, provincial director of information and culture Hafiz Rashid.
The infected children died over a period of two of days in Baghran district, the official said. “The reason for the outbreak of the disease could be drinking contaminated water.”
Some affected people including children have been receiving medical treatment at a local health center.
The lack of infrastructure facilities including health centers and of access to potable water in Afghanistan’s far-flanged areas have made local villagers prone to death due to curable diseases.
RT Story with additional input from Global Village Space News Desk.