World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Uganda: Experts Fear Ebola Re-Emergence In Congo

Uganda-DRC: Ebola under control but experts fear re-emergence in Congo

Ugandan health officials said they had an outbreak of a rare Ebola stain under control in their country but expressed concerns that the disease could resurface in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

At a news conference in the capital Kampala on 18 December, the ministry of health said a person "with the appropriate clinical case definition of Ebola" had been identified in an area in DRC near the border.

They said Uganda had contacted the UN World Health Organization (WHO) over the current threat.

"We have asked our people in Bundibugyo [the epicentre of the latest outbreak in Uganda] to encourage them to come over for treatment because these diseases know no boundaries," Emmanuel Otaala, the minister in charge of primary health care, said. "We are in touch with Kinshasa [DRC's capital] through the World Health Organization and we have also contacted our foreign ministry to handle it through the diplomatic channels."

Some 127 cases of suspected Ebola have been reported in Uganda, 35 of whom have died, including five health workers. Another 39 patients, including six health workers, have been discharged from hospital after making a full recovery.

Otaala said there had been a general decline in the number of new Ebola cases, with only three cases reported in the past four days - an indication that the outbreak was now under control.

Tests on other suspected cases reported outside Bundibugyo district were negative, while the capacity of all referral hospitals to handle contagious infections had been improved, he said.

Health official Sam Okware told IRIN a taskforce set up to fight the outbreak has been tasked with convincing the public in the affected region to abandon traditional circumcision rituals, due to start shortly, until the epidemic clears.

He also said that those people discharged from hospital had been asked to abstain from sex for three months or use condoms as the virus could be carried in semen.

Virologists are investigating what triggered the latest epidemic and are specifically exploring reports that it could have started when a family of 10 people feasted on a dead goat that had been bitten by a wild animal. The 10 later fell sick.

"We have tried to look for the skin of the goat but it is not there and we are suspecting that these people might have eaten the real wild animal, but we have not made any conclusions yet," Okware said.

An outbreak of the highly contagious disease, which can have fatality rates as high as 90 percent, killed at least 170 people in northern Uganda in 2000.

A similar Ebola outbreak killed at least 26 people in DRC's West Kasai region, in a country where the disease was first discovered in 1976.


Copyright © IRIN 2007


Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives | RSS

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Haiti: $5 Million To Kick-Start Aid In Wake Of Hurricane Matthew

UN emergency fund allocates $5 million to kick-start assistance in wake of Hurricane Matthew More>>


Not Helen Clark: António Guterres Favourite For Next UN Secretary-General

Former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres has emerged as the clear favourite to become the next United Nations Secretary-General following the sixth secret ballot held today by the UN Security Council, which is expected to take a formal decision tomorrow and forward Mr. Guterres’ name to the 193-Member General Assembly for final confirmation. More>>


Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news