Death toll in Darfur yellow fever outbreak climbs to 164

The World Health Organization announced on Monday that a yellow fever outbreak in Sudan's Darfur region has killed 164 people in the last three months.

The organization said that the fighting and banditry in the region makes healthcare access especially tough for residents. Health access is provided almost completely by aid agencies, Reuters reports.

The outbreak of the mosquito-borne illness is concentrated in central Darfur.

"Between September 2 and November 29, the total number of suspected yellow fever cases has reached 677, including 164 deaths," the WHO and Sudan's health ministry said, according to Reuters.

Approximately half of the yellow fever cases were in people between 15 and 30 years of age. Approximately 25 percent of the cases were in children between the ages of five and 15.

The WHO said in November that approximately 3.6 million people would be vaccinated in affected areas in the region. The statement on Monday said that more than half of the targeted population received vaccines.

Aside from the vaccine, there is no effective treatment for the hemorrhagic fever.

In 2003, rebels took up arms in Darfur after complaining of neglect by the central government hundreds of miles away in the nation's capital of Khartoum. The United Nations estimates that hundreds of thousands of people have died in the conflict, though the government puts the death toll much lower at 10,000, Reuters reports.