THE mysterious disease which first struck Menyamya district in Morobe last month has claimed another 21 lives, raising the death toll to at least 50.
This does not include another 16 deaths from the remote Awapango village.
Kome local level government manager Desmond Timiyaso feared that the death toll would increase further.
On Sunday, The National was told that 29 people had died in Menyamya.
The officer in charge of the Menyamya health centres, Sr Bina David, described the situation as “an epidemic”.
She said they were still unable to confirm the disease because of the unstable symptoms.
She could not even say whether it was a viral or bacterial infection.
“Some patients had red eyes, severe headache, high fever, dysentery, upset stomach, sore throat and coughing.
“It is an epidemic.
“Health authorities should act, experts should be flown in,” she said in a phone interview.
Sr David said because of the bad weather, the poor roads to the area had deteriorated further.
“They are impassable but fortunately, drugs have been flown in.”
She said patients from nearby villages were heading into the Lutheran health service (LHS) and the Menyamya health centre for treatment.
Morobe provincial health adviser Dr Likei Theo said disease control experts with the second batch of medicines could not be dispatched because of a lack of logistics.