Monday, 30 July 2012

Ebola hits Uganda again

The deadly Ebola hemorrhagic fever has struck Kibaale district (219 km from Kampala) in Western Uganda, East Africa, killing at least 14 people including a health worker who treated some of the victims. The country has been put on an Ebola outbreak health alert as the search for people who got in contact with the deceased has been mounted for medical examination and possible quarantine.

This afternoon the President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni addressed the nation and urged people to avoid physical contact as much as possible in a bid to curb further spread of the highly infectious disease. It is the third time in 12 years that Ebala is hitting Uganda. The more deadly Ebola-Zaire occurred in 2000 in Gulu district in northern Uganda where it attacked over 400 citizens and killed at least 200 of them. Uganda's ministry of health has identified the Kibaale Ebola outbreak as the Sudan strain. The last Ebola outbreak occurred in December 2007 in Bundibugyo district also in Western Uganda.

Doctors dressed up for Ebola in Bundibugyo (New Vision photo)
Today, there was a scare around Uganda's capital Kampala when news spread that some patients at Mulago Hospital had died of suspected Ebola. But the ministry of health quickly dispelled the news arguing that they had put the situation under control.

A task-force to fight the disease has been organised in Kibaale district which is the epicentre of the disease and travel advisory notes have been issued as schools have been closed due to fear of spread of the disease.

Ebola outbreaks are normally very localised and rarely spread internationally according to World Health Oragnisation (WHO). The world health body however, advises health workers who come in contact with Ebola victims to use protective gear like gloves and impermeable gowns covering their faces.

People infected with Ebola virus experience a sudden fever, weakness, pain, headache, sore throat and later symptoms include external and internal bleeding, diarrhea and rash and dysfunctional kidney and liver. Ebola kills 90% of its victims.

 By Mubatsi Asinja Habati

1 comment:

  1. A few days left to declare Kibaale district in western Uganda Ebala free. Public gatherings have been okayed.