Posts Tagged ‘Uganda’

Ebola Outbreak in Uganda: CDC Rushes to Contain Virus

8 August, 2012

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Dr. Richard Besser travels with American doctors as they race to stop a global threat.


Really? Because local doctors were doing nothing about it? Because it was really a global threat? Come on! The Kikwit outbreak in the 1990s was MUCH worse, occurred in a much more chaotic public health setting – and less than 0.1% of the city of 500 000 was affected, and it didn’t spread.
Be more afraid of…oh, I don’t know, maybe West Nile virus, Dengue virus, Yellow fever virus?? WAAY more cases, and far closer to the US of A!

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More Ugandans Admitted with Possible Ebola

1 August, 2012

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Date: Tue 31 Jul 2012
Source: Time Healthland, Associated Press report [edited]

More Ugandans Admitted with Possible Ebola
A total of 6 more patients suspected to have Ebola have been admitted to the hospital days after investigators confirmed an outbreak of the highly infectious disease in a remote corner of western Uganda, a health official said on Monday [30 Jul 2012]. Stephen Byaruhanga, health secretary of the affected Kibaale district, said possible cases of Ebola, at 1st concentrated in a single village, are now being reported in more villages. “It’s no longer just one village. There are many villages affected,” Byaruhanga said. In a national address on Monday, Uganda’s President advised against unnecessary contact among people, saying suspected cases of Ebola should be reported immediately to health officials.

Officials from Uganda’s Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization announced on Saturday [28 Jul 2012] that the deadly Ebola virus killed 14 Ugandans this month, ending weeks of speculation about the cause of a strange illness that had some people fleeing their homes in the absence of reliable answers. If the 6 new cases are confirmed as Ebola fever, it would bring to 26 the number of Ugandans infected with Ebola [virus].

This is the 4th occurrence of Ebola in Uganda since 2000, when the disease killed 224 people and left hundreds more traumatized in norther Uganda. At least 42 people were killed in another outbreak in 2007, and there was a lone Ebola case in 2011. Investigators took nearly a month to confirm Ebola’s presence in Uganda this year. In Kibaale, a district with 600 000 residents, some villagers started abandoning their homes to escape what they thought was an illness caused by bad luck. One family lost 9 members, and a clinical officer and her 4-month-old baby died from Ebola, Byaruhanga said.

D.K. Lwamafa, of Uganda’s Ministry of Health, told reporters on Saturday that one Ebola patient from Kibaale had been referred to the national hospital in the capital but had then died in Kibaale.

The confirmation of Ebola’s presence in the area has spread anxiety among sick villagers, who are refusing to go the hospital for fear they don’t have Ebola and will contract it there. All suspected Ebola patients have been isolated at one hospital where patients admitted with other illnesses fled after Ebola was announced. Only the hospital’s maternity ward still has patients, officials said, highlighting the deadly reputation of Ebola in a country where the authorities do not always respond quickly and effectively to emergencies and disasters. Barnabas Tinkasimire, a lawmaker from the area, said that some nurses refused to look after Ebola patients after one clinical officer died and another was taken ill.

“They are saying, ‘We can’t remain here if there is no sufficient allowance’,” Tinkasimire said of medical officers handling Ebola cases. The lawmaker said the government’s response so far has been poor and that it would have been worse without the technical support of organizations such as the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “It took long for the government to respond, and up to now many people don’t know how to guard against Ebola. We need sensitization,” he said.

Ebola, which manifests itself as a hemorrhagic fever [But not in this outbreak – Mod.CP], is highly infectious and kills quickly. It was 1st reported in 1976 in Congo and is named for the river where it was recognized. A CDC factsheet on Ebola says the disease is “characterized by fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, and weakness, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. A rash, red eyes, hiccups and internal and external bleeding may be seen in some patients.”

Scientists don’t know the natural reservoir of the virus, but they suspect the 1st victim in an Ebola outbreak gets infected through contact with an infected animal. The virus can be transmitted through direct contact with the blood or secretions of an infected person, or objects that have been contaminated with infected secretions. During communal funerals, for example, when the bereaved come into contact with an Ebola victim, the virus can be contracted, health officials said.

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ProMED-mail from HealthMap alerts

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Ebola reaches Uganda’s capital

31 July, 2012

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Uganda’s president has warned against shaking hands and other physical contact after the first death from the deadly Ebola virus in the capital.

The latest outbreak started in Uganda’s western Kibale district, about 200km from Kampala, and around 50km from the border with Democratic Republic of Congo.

The fatal case in Kampala was a health worker who “had attended to the dead at Kagadi hospital” in Kibale, Health Minister Christine Ondoa told reporters.


And it’s deja vu all over again…this is how I started reporting virology on the Web, back in 1995 – with the Kikwit Ebola outbreak.  It’s possibly the first time Ebola has hit a major centre, so it could be interesting to see what develops.  Let’s hope nothing…!


I thank Russell Kightley Media for the Ebola virus graphic

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‘SA safe from Ebola’ – Times LIVE

31 July, 2012

See on Scoop.itVirology News

South Africans need not be worried about contracting the Ebola virus after a new outbreak of the disease in Uganda.

The SA National Institute for Communicable Diseases said the risk of South Africans being infected was “extremely low”.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has placed a ban on physical contact in the country after the virus was reported in the capital, Kampala, for the first time.

The institute’s spokesman, Professor Lucile Blumberg, said yesterday: “There is no travel restriction. It is unlikely that patients from the Kibaale district, Uganda, who are very sick, will find their way here. One does need direct contact with infected patients to become ill.”


As with ANY Ebola outbreak in fact, the peril for any but the immediately exposed is more imgained than real.  What Ed Regis once termed “Ebola Preston”, or a virus that is spread by print and electronic media, rather than by droplets.

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