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Heavy rains brought on by El Nino and the pests that breed in floodwaters are suspected of causing an undiagnosed illness in Kenya in which victims bleed to death.

The World Health Organization and Kenyan officials sent medical teams to northern Kenya Wednesday to investigate the outbreak. Those experts so far could confirm just three deaths from the disease, all of which occurred last week at a hospital in the remote town of Garissa.

They were trying to verify local reports that 171 people had died in flooded villages in northeastern Kenya. Newspapers said the victims had high fevers, diarrhea, vomiting and bleeding from the nose and mouth.

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