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July 29, 2012 (TSR) - Ugandan officials have confirmed the outbreak of Ebola in Kibaale district, Midwestern Uganda.
The disease reported in Nyanswiga village, Nyamarunda Sub county has killed 13 family members and a clinical officer of Kagadi Hospital who initially attended to the patients.
“The Ministry of Health would like to inform the general public that there is an outbreak of Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever in Kibaale district, Midwestern Uganda. 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 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 mentioned above. Her condition is fairly stable though she still has fever, diarrhoea and vomiting,” said the Ministry in a statement.
The second case is 30 year old female admitted on July 23, 2012 with fever, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pains. She is from the household that recorded the index (first) case and nine (9) deaths due to the strange illness. She is stable but still has fever with diarrhoea and vomiting.
According to the Health ministry, a national taskforce to be based at Kampala’s Mulago national referral hospital has been re-activated. Kibaale and neighbouring districts have been instructed to reactivate their district taskforces to coordinate the management of the outbreak.
Another team of experts from the Ministry of Health , WHO and US Centre for Disease Control is already on the ground in Kibaale supporting the response.
Since early July, many local radio stations have been reporting about a mysterious disease that has been claiming lives in the district but they did not know it was Ebola.
After it was confirmed that it was the deadly disease that was killing people, the Ministry of health has issued precautionary measures and opened an isolation centre, to avoid further spread.
The government has also dispatched a team of health officials from World Health Organization, Center for Disease Control, Mulago and Laco Hospital mainly those who handle Ebola outbreaks to Kibaale district.
However panic and shock is surrounding residents of Kagadi town in fear of their lives as others have started migrating from the neighbouring villages where the disease broke out.
“We have to transfer our stay to safe places because we can easily get infected of this disease” said one Omuhereza Kugonza in Nyamarunda sub county.