The displacement of people leads to the spread of disease
At least seven people have died of a mystery illness in southern Sudan.
The World Health Organization (WHO) will
send a medical team to Kitgum district, near the Ugandan border to find out what caused the deaths.
But it is too early to say whether the deaths were caused by an Ebola-like viral hemorrhagic fever, said the WHO's representative in Nairobi, Dr Abdurahmane Sow.
Local reports suggest however that the death toll from the disease may be much higher.
The Monitor newspaper in Uganda reported 45 deaths.
"What we can say is that it is a serious disease that causes death," Dr Sow said.
"We're sending biologists up
there who should arrive on Tuesday to conduct the necessary
tests to determine the exact nature."
The symptoms of the disease include fever, diarrhoea and
In 2000, 400 people contracted Ebola fever in Gulu
district, south-west of Kitgum - but deaths were limited to
173 because of swift action by health authorities.
Civil war in southern Sudan means thousands of people are continually displaced and public health facilities are rare.
Dr Sow said his office had first been informed of the deaths by members of the relief organisation Norwegian Church Aid, which is active in southern Sudan.