A medical team from the World Health Organization has arrived in southern Sudan to investigate the outbreak of a disease which has killed 10 people and infected 178.
"A WHO team arrived Sunday at Ikotos in southeast Sudan and they are investigating reports of the disease outbreak both in Ikotos and nearby Imotong," Ben Parker, spokesman for the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan, Mukesh Kapila, told the French news agency, AFP.
Some fear that the disease could be the deadly Ebola virus, which has previously occurred in the region.
But Mr Parker said the disease had not yet been identified.
"We are not ruling in or out any causative agents or pathogens," he said.
"What we can say is that it is a serious disease that causes death," said the WHO's representative in Nairobi, Dr Abdurahmane Sow.
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.