Mar 21 - Baffling Illness Strikes Africa, Turns Children Into Violent "Zombies"

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 6 years ago '07        #1
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RedMonkeyJunkie 11 heat pts11
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Mar 21 - Baffling Illness Strikes Africa, Turns Children Into Violent "Zombies"
 

 

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 Baffling Illness Strikes Africa, Turns Children Into Violent "Zombies" | Digg Topnews

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 k!lled in fires believed to be set by the zombified children.

Nodding disease zombie child
The disease leaves child victims in an often-violent "zombiefied" state. [Image Source: CNN]

The disease is not new. It popped up in the 1960s in Sudan. From there it slowly spread to Libya and Tanzania.

The Uganda infections, though, are a new outbreak -- a troubling sign. The jump into a new region could be pure coincidence, or it could indicate the disease has become more virulent or found a new transmissions vector.

Africa map
Uganda is located in central Africa [Image Source: U of Tex., Modifications: Jason Mick]

Infected children typically have regular seizures, which are proceeded by a repetitive nodding of the head. This characteristic symptom has given rise to the unofficial title for the malady.

II. World Medical Organizations Racing for a Cure

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) have been tracking the spread of this frightening ailment. Dr. Joaquin Saweka says the scene in Uganda is horrific, stating, "It was quite desperate, I can tell you. Imagine being surrounded by 26 children and 12 of them showing signs of this. The attitude was to quickly find a solution to the problem."

Yet the WHO and CDC are not fully sure what is causing the illness, which cripples children and turns them into mindless, violence-prone zombies. The best clue they have is that most of the cases occur in regions inhabited by "Black flies", which carry the parasitic worm Onchocerca Volvulus. That worm is responsible for another dangerous disease dubbed "river blindness", the world's second leading cause of infectious blindness.

Black Fly and worm
The illness may have something to do with Black flies (left, center) and their parasitic worm (right). [Image Source: WHO (left), Wikimedia Commons (center), Human Healths (right)]

However 7 percent of infected children live in regions not inhabited by the Black fly, so a link is speculative at best.

Children with the disease also frequently exhibit vitamin B6 deficiency, leading medical experts to believe that the disease may be nutrition related. However, infections by microbes, parasites, fungi, or even fungi/microbes carried by a parasitic host, can all lead to nutritional deficiencies.

Dr. Scott Dowell, director of global disease detection and emergency response at CDC, says the race is on to determine the cause and a cure. He states, "At first we cast the net wide. We ruled out three dozen potential causes and we are working on a handful of probabilities. We know from past experience an unknown disease could end up having more global implications."

In the current cases children as old as 19 have been found to be stricken, with the majority of the worst symptoms being spread over the 3-11 age range.

One mystery surrounding the disease is the seizures themselves. While typically seizures are either randomly occurring or follow some singular cue/pattern, the nodding disease seems to have multiple triggers, including eating new foods, changing weather, and other changes.

Seizure often leave the children soiled with urine and drooling. Local nurses are afraid to touch the infected. States local nurse Elupe Petua, "I feel, because I don't know what causes it, I don't even know how it transmits, when I touch them I feel that I can also get the infection because I don't know what causes it."

III. Medication is Ineffective

Anti-epileptic medication slows the onset of symptoms, but is unable to stop the progression of the disease. The seizures eventually leave many children unable to walk, only able to drag their bodies along the ground as flies tried to attack them.

Nodding disease
The current treatment approach of anti-epileptics has done little to halt the illness.
[Image Souce: CNN]

The government of Uganda has come under criticism for not being vocal enough in addressing the tragedy and demanding foreign aid/research expertise. Local politicians have taken to transporting victims from affected villages by bus to city hospitals in order to force the issue into the eyes of the more affluent city-dwellers.

The issue is yet another woe for a nation in which the impoverished majority was terrorized for years by warlord Jospeph Kony's militia, dubbed the "Lord's Resistance Army."

Mr. Kony is currently wanted by the International Criminal Court on multiple counts of violent war crimes, including r*pe and murder. These offenses are punishable by death, if he is ever brought to trial.

IV. What if the "Nodding Disease" Found a Way to Reach the U.S.?

Dr. Saweka says that for all the hand-waving by the government about using better anti-epileptics and offering more funding, he appreciates and shares in the villagers frustration. He states, "People complain that it looks like the lives in developing countries have less value than the lives in the western countries. When you know the root cause, you address the cure. Now you are just relieving the symptoms. We don't expect to cure anybody."

Ugandans
Ugandans, grief stricken, feel somewhat abandoned by the government and the wealthy developed "First World". [Image Source: CNN]

While the "First World" may not be focused on -- or even aware of -- the zombification that is leaving children in these African nations violent, crippled shells of their former selves -- tied like dogs -- it is an issue that must be addressed. After all, viruses, bacteria, parasites thanks to the wonders of evolution can mutate and adapt to new environments and new transmission vectors.

Thus this zombie virus may seem like a foreign issue to regions like the U.S. and EU who are struggling with their own financial crisises. But if the illness finds a way to broaden its spread, this "zombie" outbreak could cripple the globe.

98 comments for "Mar 21 - Baffling Illness Strikes Africa, Turns Children Into Violent "Zombies""

 03-21-2012, 11:17 PM         #2
DoubleD 
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Aids didn't completely work so I guess this the next wave to try and k!ll us.
 6 years ago '04        #3
UF4Soldier 127 heat pts127
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umbrella is behind this
 6 years ago '05        #4
zogby 42 heat pts42
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Seems uganda is happening
first project kony failed
now theres zombies
 6 years ago '04        #5
UF4Soldier 127 heat pts127
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 zogby said:
Seems uganda is happening
first project kony failed
now theres zombies
hope u dont think this is just random! its alotta of americans over there and troops sh*t
can a pandemic!

[video - click to view]



Last edited by UF4Soldier; 03-22-2012 at 12:18 AM..
 6 years ago '12        #6
noverum 
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It sounds like a parasite infection, and it reminds me of how infected ants behave :


[video - click to view]

 03-22-2012, 12:43 AM         #7
killya 
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there are so many things wrong with this world, i do not know where to start.
 6 years ago '10        #8
Trilluminati GA 433 heat pts433
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Jus wow! Uganda, Africa of all places.
 03-22-2012, 10:25 AM         #9
easybreezy88 
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 UF4Soldier said:
umbrella is behind this

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Oh man video game reality ......


Last edited by easybreezy88; 03-22-2012 at 10:28 AM..
 6 years ago '05        #10
Willoughby 1 heat pts
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Wesker is behind this.

But seriously, this news is unsettling. We're getting crazier and crazier stories by the day.
 6 years ago '09        #11
bigscore 1632 heat pts1632
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The Walking Dead??


 6 years ago '05        #12
DymeKatcha 6 heat pts
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Yo this can't be life, I'm I really reading this right, like this is the beginning, whatever you have to do, don't anyone from africa come over here without being tested, or anyone thats visiting. This sh*t got me tripping.. Walking Dead Real Life
 03-22-2012, 10:48 AM         #13
DoubleD 
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Buy to why isnt this like a huge thing all over TV????
 03-22-2012, 10:50 AM         #14
easybreezy88 
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 Willoughby said:
Wesker is behind this.

But seriously, this news is unsettling. We're getting crazier and crazier stories by the day.
For real though it would not surprise me if we find out that some bio-weapon is what brought this on.

I mean if you cant attack something by water or air , then just drop bio weapons is next .

The worlds got me worried a little bit , I would love to believe its not the beginning of the end , but with all the crazy sh*t going on I am really not sure anymore.
 6 years ago '04        #15
Tic Toc 7 heat pts
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dam they puttin the virus in kids...this sh*t has to be man made

leave the kids alone
 03-22-2012, 10:53 AM         #16
Trill Clinton 
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fu*k going back to Africa.
 6 years ago '11        #17
Tony Franks 6 heat pts
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So, is this what happened to dude from Invisible Children? He caught that bug from being balls deep in ugandan boy b00ty or what?
 6 years ago '06        #18
hood135 2 heat pts
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 Tony Franks said:
So, is this what happened to dude from Invisible Children? He caught that bug from being balls deep in ugandan boy b00ty or what?
Well if this is true, that sh*t has already made its way to the states so thousands more will have it within days or weeks...or at least, that's what they want you to think. Hide your kids, hide your wife. sh*t is about to get real.

That whole Kony sh*t was a set up to get everyone's attention. Think about it. We all know who this dude is because of that sh*t, now he's displaying signs of having the same illness of these kids. As soon as the Uganda, Kony filmaker, disease sh*t is connected, there will be mass hysteria around the world.

Might just be me, but this sh*t is playing out just like in the movies. Bout to hit up Sam's Club before this sh*t hits the mainstream media.
 6 years ago '09        #19
AI34Life 
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 90sBaby said:
Aids didn't completely work so I guess this the next wave to try and k!ll us.
stop being stupid and turnin this into a race topic.
 6 years ago '04        #20
ItAlY2BkLyN 238 heat pts238
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bout to catch me like...


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if this sh*t spreads
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