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Health ministry says Ebola contained


By Francis Kagolo

The recent Ebola outbreak in Kibaale district has been contained, with no new case recorded in the last two weeks, the health ministry has announced.

Dr. Dennis Lwamafa, acting director general of health services, said in a statement that the last confirmed admitted case to Kagadi Hospital was on August 3.

“There have not been new cases reported since then,” Lwamafa confirmed.

Ebola, a highly contagious viral infection, broke out about two months ago when it killed a two-month-old baby at Nyanswiga village, Nyamarunda sub-county, Kibaale district.

On the fateful day, the baby’s mother left it asleep in their mud-and-wattle hut and went to tend to her crop garden. She returned later in the day only to find the baby dead. The baby’s left palm had the sign of an animal bite.

A week later, the disease claimed eight other people, all from the same family.

The epidemic has so far claimed about 15 lives, including a clinical officer at Kagadi hospital identified as Claire Muhumuza.

Medical theory indicates that an Ebola outbreak starts when an infected animal, most likely a monkey or a bat, infects a human being. Through direct contact, the victim then infects other people.

Over three quarters of the 408 people who were being observed after reportedly coming in contact with Ebola patients were declared free of the disease after they did not become sick within 21 days, the maximum incubation period.

The ministry said 49 patients were Thursday discharged from the isolation facility of Kagadi Hospital after being proven negative for Ebola.

More people continue to be followed up, investigated and discharged after receiving treatment for other ailments.

“The ministry of health wishes to inform the general public that the Ebola outbreak in Kibaale District is increasingly coming under control. No confirmed Ebola case has been reported outside Kibaale District,” Lwamafa said in Thursday’s statement.

“We however, appeal to the public to be vigilant and report any suspected cases to the nearest health facility or call Ebola hotline numbers: 0781295308 and 0750996034.”

He reiterated that the ministry would undertake necessary measures to completely avert the spread of the virus.

Publish Date: Aug 17, 2012

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