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


Uganda: Ebola Virus Outbreak Death Toll Up To 28

UGANDA: Ebola death toll up to 28

The death toll in the Ebola outbreak in western Uganda has risen to 28 out of 112 people infected with the deadly virus, with a sense of panic spreading among the population, officials said.

Sam Okware, head of the country's taskforce on the Ebola outbreak, said his office was receiving calls from around the country, with people believing that any ailment involving blood was Ebola, a haemorrhagic fever that has spread mainly in the western district of Bundibugyo.

"Any patient who has some blood coming out of the body opening has become an alert for people. We have been running around collecting cases, but many have not been within the description of the disease," Okware told IRIN on 10 December. "We have been helping people to bury those who have died under mysterious circumstances - like a man who died on the streets of Kampala and the people just took off.

"It shows awareness is rising among the public," he added.

A government official in Bundibugyo, Sam Kazinga, said three male patients, including a medical worker, died on 9 December, while seven new cases were admitted to the two isolation centres in the district on the same day. Two doctors who had been helping in the fight against the virus have died of the disease.

"Since the epidemic broke out in my district the cumulative cases have risen to 112 with 28 deaths," said Kazinga.

Okware said efforts to combat the Ebola outbreak have been boosted by the establishment of a laboratory with help from the US Centers for Disease Control at the Ugandan virus research institute. "We started doing the tests in the morning and we shall now be able to get test results within 24 hours, which makes response quicker," said Okware.

He added that some of the suspected cases had turned out to be false alarms, with the exception of one family in Kasese district, which has been under quarantine. "They took care of an Ebola patient and a man and his son have since fallen sick, but we shall confirm their status later today [10 December]".

On the positive side, six Ebola patients have been discharged from the two isolation wards in Bundibugyo district hospital after they showed considerable improvement, Kazinga said.

When the disease broke out in September, health workers in Bundibugyo thought it was one of the many common ailments prevalent among the 250,000 population, mainly farmers of cocoa, rice and vanilla and small-scale cattle-raisers.

According to the Sam Zaramba, Uganda's director-general of health services, the disease could have spread unnoticed in the ensuing medical confusion, with its characteristic haemorrhaging obscured by companion ailments, only to emerge when cases were tested at hospital. This presentation, he said, made health workers think the disease was a "normal" ailment.

An outbreak killed at least 170 people in Uganda's northern Gulu district in 2000. Another recent outbreak killed at least 26 people in DRC's West Kasai region.

The Ebola virus was first identified in 1976 in Sudan and in a nearby region of Democratic Republic of Congo, then Zaire. Outbreaks have also occurred in the Ivory Coast and Gabon.



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

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Human Rights: China Journalist Jailed For COVID Reporting Seriously Ill, Must Be Released

UN human rights experts* today urged China to immediately release imprisoned citizen journalist and woman human rights defender Zhang Zhan on humanitarian grounds, saying her health is deteriorating rapidly and her life is in danger... More>>

CID: PNG Deadly Covid Crisis Getting Worse
People in Papua New Guinea are not getting enough Covid vaccines due to misinformation. This is causing immense stress and suffering throughout the country, says Quenelda Clegg Chair of CID’s Humanitarian Network...More>>

Sudan: Bachelet Condemns Killings Of Peaceful Protesters

At least 39 people have been killed by security forces in Sudan since the 25 October military coup, 15 of whom were reportedly shot dead on Wednesday, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights...

Focus On: UN SDGs

Food: Three Billion People Cannot Afford A Healthy Diet

Approximately three billion people, almost 40 per cent of the world’s population, cannot afford a healthy diet and another one billion people would join their ranks should further unpredictable events reduce incomes by one-third, the UN food agency said, launching a new report on Tuesday... More>>

COP26: Enough Of ‘Treating Nature Like A Toilet’ – Guterres Brings Stark Call For Climate Action To Glasgow
As the World Leaders Summit opened on day two of COP26, UN chief António Guterres sent a stark message to the international community. “We are digging our own graves”, he said, referring to the addiction to fossil fuels which threatens to push humanity and the planet, to the brink, through unsustainable global heating... More>>

Climate: ‘Vague’ Net Zero Promises Not Enough: Planet Still On Track For Catastrophic Heating, UN Report Warns

New and updated commitments made ahead of the pivotal climate conference COP26 in the past months are a positive step forward, but the world remains on track for a dangerous global temperature rise of at least 2.7°C this century even if fully met, a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has warned... More>>