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    Sudan Lab Seized by Fighters, WHO Evaluating Risk

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    A fire in Khartoum, Sudan has caused nearly two weeks of urban combat, killing hundreds and injuring thousands. It has also caused a mass exodus of foreigners, and the UN has warned of a potential refugee crisis. Additionally, fighters in Sudan have occupied a national laboratory holding samples of deadly diseases, including polio, measles, and cholera. The World Health Organization (WHO) is assessing the threat posed to public health and conducting a risk assessment. WHO’s representative in Sudan has called this an “extremely, extremely dangerous” situation. WHO’s incident manager for the Sudan response stated that the agency knew there were samples being stored at the lab of various pathogens, including SARS CoV-2, which causes Covid-19 disease. WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan said there was always a concern “having untrained personnel in a lab”. He stressed that the main threat to people in Sudan at the moment was the fighting, including numerous attacks on health care facilities and personnel.

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