4 Apr 2012

Mysterious disease in Uganda

1:33 pm on 4 April 2012

A mysterious disease has swept across parts of northern Uganda in recent years devastating families there.

It has a severe impact on the development of children, causes uncontrolled head nodding, seizures and in many cases, death. There is no known cure.

Cases were seen in Tanzania back in the 1960s and in South Sudan in recent years. The BBC reports health officials are baffled.

Some of the symptoms are similar to epilepsy: violent seizures strike several times a day and the children's physical and mental development steadily erode.

Children wander off into the bush and often do not return home. Incidents of dogs carrying the bodies of dead children back to a village, have been reported.

The BBC says communities are starting to panic and people are losing hope of a cure.