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Medical experts collected specimens Thursday from Kenyans and Somalis stricken by a mysterious illness that has caused at least 45 people to hemorrhage to death.

The Somali Red Cross Society confirmed an outbreak in southern Somalia of a disease similar to one reported across the border in Kenya.

Forty-two people have died in the past week in Torotorow, 70 miles south of Mogadishu, Red Cross officials said Thursday.

In Kenya, doctors so far have confirmed just three deaths from the disease, all of which occurred last week in a hospital in the remote northeastern town of Garissa.

They were trying to verify local reports that 171 people had died from the disease in flooded villages in northeastern Kenya.

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