Uganda – Ebola death toll rises as 19 new cases reported

Uganda – Ebola deaths

Kampala – Two more people have died of the hemorrhagic fever, Ebola following its outbreak in Kibaale district, 200 Km west of Uganda’s capital, Kampala. The two are said to have died last evening, bringing the total number of deaths to 16. Uganda Radio Network quotes the Kibaale district health officer Dr Dan Kyamanywa who identified the deceased as 5-year old Nicholas Asingwire and Frediano Nsabimaana, whose age couldn’t be immediately established. Dr Kyamanywa said the duo died on Monday at their homes and were interred by Ebola burial experts.

URN further reports that Dr Kyamanywa says although the community members put the death toll at 20, his records indicate 16. Meanwhile the number of patients admitted at Kagadi hospital has grown to 19 from seven last evening. Dr Kyamanywa says that the patients have been collected from the sub counties of Nyamarunda, Burora, Bwamiramira, Kyaterekera, Muhorro and Kagadi town council. The patients are now admitted at Kagadi hospital’s Ebola isolation ward.

The health officer attributes the growing number of patients to the continued vigilance by residents who are now readily identifying cases and reporting them to the health personnel.  He adds that surveillance teams are already combing through the district to ensure that no infected person is left untreated. Meanwhile, Uganda’s daily New Vision reports that 19 new Ebola cases were this morning reported at Kagadi Hospital in Kibaale district.  Mubende district bordering Kibaale has set up an isolation centre center following reports that Ebola patients from Kibaale were flocking the health unit for treatment.

This caused panic as Nurses turned away patients for fear that they could be having the deadly Ebola virus. Mubende Hospital boss is Dr. Edward Nkurunziza is quoted by New Vision saying that the isolation centre would handle Ebola cases if confirmed. Ebola taskforce teams are being set up in neighbouring districts. In yesterday’s address to the nation, President Yoweri Museveni said that at least seven doctors at Mulago Hospital who treated an Ebola patient from Kibaale district have been placed under quarantine.

He also said 13 health workers had been quarantined, after they handled a patient who died a few days ago. Ebola is a highly infectious disease, which presents with high grade fever and bleeding tendencies. It is very infectious, kills in a short time but can easily be prevented.  The signs and symptoms of the disease include fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, headache, measles-like rash, red eyes, and sometimes with bleeding from body openings.

It can be spread through direct physical contact with body fluids like saliva, blood, stool, vomit, urine and sweat from an infected person and soiled linen used by a patient. It can also be spread through using skin piercing instruments that have been used by an infected person. Uganda has seen three major outbreaks over the past 12 years. The deadliest was in 2000 when 425 people were infected. More than half of them died.  There is no vaccine for the virus. Symptoms include sudden onset of fever, weakness, headache, vomiting and kidneys problems.

© 2012, Paschal B Bagonza. All rights reserved. – The views expressed here are purely those of the author and not necessarily those of the publishers. – Newstime Africa content cannot be reproduced in any form – electronic or print – without prior consent of the Publishers. Copyright infringement will be pursued and perpetrators prosecuted.

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