The Minister of Health Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, has refuted claims that there is an Ebola outbreak in Uganda but says the country has the capacity to diagnose and fight epidemic.
Thursday morning, a boda boda motorist has died at Kitgum hospital of suspected hemorrhagic fever 2 days after he was admitted in the isolation ward.
“Ofcourse there is no Ebola in Uganda that has died of Ebola,” Rugunda tells Red Pepper Online edition.
“The ministry of health and national task force on epidemics is mindful of any symptoms or Ebola cases throughout the country. Surveillance officers in all districts especially those along the border have been put on alert to detect potential suspects or cases.”
He said a special desk has been put in place at the Entebbe Airport to screen people coming into the country.
“A health desk has been started at Entebbe International Airport in response to the ongoing epidemic on the West African continent so that the nationals from traveling the three West African, (Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia) nations struck by the Ebola virus can be checked before entry into Uganda.”
Dr. Geoffrey Okello, the Medical Superintendent of Kitgum Hospital says the deceased arrived at the hospital while bleeding profusely from the nose and other body parts.
Okello tells this paper that samples from the suspected Ebola death have been sent to the Virus Research Institute in Entebbe for further analysis.
Uganda has suffered with a ring of disastrous disease outbreaks including Ebola in recent years. Ebola killed 17 people in Kibaale district and another four in Luweero in 2012 yet dozens had died in earlier outbreaks in Bundibugyo and Gulu districts.
The Ebola virus is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected persons.
Transmission of the Ebola virus has also occurred by handling sick or dead infected wild animals (chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, forest antelope, fruit bats), according to the WHO. The predominant treatment is general supportive therapy.
Severe acute viral illness often characterized by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat.
This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding.
There are five species of Ebola, three of which are found ib Zaire, Sudan and Bundibugyo and can kill humans.
Zaire Ebola, the deadliest and the species behind the current outbreak, can fail its victims within days, causing severe fever and muscle pain, weakness, vomiting and diarrhoea — in some cases shutting down organs and causing unstoppable bleeding.
There have been 21 Ebola outbreaks not including isolated cases involving only one patient since the virus first spread to humans in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ebola has killed 1,587 people, two-thirds of those infected, according to an AFP tally based on WHO data.
The death rate for Ebola has been widely but incorrectly reported as “90 percent” by global media and some scientists, probably because around that percentage died in the original outbreak and a subsequent epidemic in neighboring Congo-Brazzaville in 2003.