Ebola outbreak kills 14 in Uganda
Posted by African Press International on July 31, 2012
Last week Ugandan officials confirmed an outbreak of Ebola in Kibaale district, Midwestern Uganda.
The deadly disease was reported in Nyanswiga village, Nyamarunda Sub county. It has already killed 13 family members and a clinical officer of Kagadi Hospital who initially attended to the patients and infected a further 7 people.
Through a statement made by the Ugandan Ministry of Health the general public was informed of the outbreak in the district.
“Laboratory tests done at the Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe have confirmed that the “Strange Disease” reported in Kibaale is indeed Ebola haemorrhagic fever,” said Dr Denis Lwamafa, the country’s Acting Director General of Health Services.
According to the Ugandan Health Ministry, a total of 20 cases with 14 deaths have been recorded. Three samples taken from the dead confirmed presence of Ebola causing viruses in their biological specimen.
Presently, there is a 38 year old female who was admitted on July 26, 2012 with fever, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. She nursed her sister, the clinical officer who worked at Kagadi Hospital.
“Her condition is fairly stable though she still has fever, diarrhoea and vomiting,” said the Ministry in the statement.
Kibaale and other neighbouring districts have been instructed by the Ministry of Health Uganda, to reactivate their district task forces to coordinate the management of the outbreak.
Meanwhile, a team of experts from the Ministry of Health , WHO and US Center for Disease Control is already on the ground in Kibaale supporting the response.
Since the beginning of July, local radio stations have been reporting about the mysterious disease that has been claiming lives in the district, but they did not know it was Ebola.
After the confirmation that indeed the deadly disease is Ebola, the Ministry of health has issued precautionary measures and opened an isolation center, to avoid further spreading.
However, residents of Kagadi town are in fear of their lives, some have even started migrating from the neighbouring villages where the disease broke out.
Ebola is considered to be highly infectious and spreads through direct contact with bodily fluids, with symptoms that include fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pains, headache, measles-like rash, internal and external bleeding.
Uganda’s most devastating outbreak was in the year 2000 when 420 people were infected, half of whom died.
Woman dies of mysterious disease in Nairobi
Last week, the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi was on high alert after a woman died of suspected hemorrhagic fever.
The woman arrived at KNH in a taxi bleeding from the nose, ears and mouth and was pronounced dead shortly after.
Doctors isolated three people who had accompanied her to the hospital including father of the deceased, a friend and the taxi driver.
During a briefing with the press, KNH said it was carrying out tests to establish the cause of death and knew what kind of treatment to administer to those in isolation.
Kenyans assured over Ebola
Kenya’s Ministry of Health has re-assured the public that there is no cause for alarm, following the death of a woman at the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi.
At the same time, Kenyatta National Hospital discharged three people who had been quarantined for being in contact with Ms Gladys Muthoni who died from excessive bleeding.
Test results which had been taken by scientists from the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) showed that there were no traces of Ebola, or any other related infectious disease in the blood samples taken from the body of the woman.
Dr. Shanaaz, who is the director of Public Health told journalists in Nairobi that the 29-year-old woman, worked as a restaurant attendant, might have died from bleeding possibly caused by stomach ulcer or a related ailment.
“Tests showed that the lady was not suffering from any infectious disease, but she was vomiting blood an indication that she might have had an ulcer,” stated Dr. Shanaaz.