By Mubiru Ivan
The Ministry of Health has said that there’s no confirmed Ebola virus disease in Uganda.
The ministry’s revelation follows the death of a 26 year old man who had ebola- like symptoms.
According to Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Senior Public Relations Officer at the Ministry of Health, the dead man’s blood sample was taken to Uganda Virus Research Institute to test for the real cause of his death.
“Please note that there is no confirmed Ebola Virus Disease in Uganda,” he warned.
Since 2000, Uganda has had three Ebola outbreaks, with a total of about 600 cases.
Consequently, the health ministry and partners are supporting the districts bordering DRC to heighten preparedness and readiness to handle any Ebola case.
Screening of people crossing from DRC for signs and symptoms of Ebola is being conducted at official and unofficial points of entry. Communities have been sensitized about Ebola and are vigilant and reporting any suspicious cases for investigation.
The Ebola virus causes an acute, serious illness which if not treated early is often fatal. Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found ill or dead or in the forest.
Ebola spreads from human-to-human via direct contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids. Burial ceremonies that involve direct contact with the body of a person who has died of Ebola can also contribute to the transmission of Ebola. Humans are not infectious until they develop symptoms.
Ebola cases present with a sudden onset of fever, fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding (e.g. oozing from the gums, blood in the stools).
Ebola can be prevented by avoiding contact with fruit bats or monkeys/apes and the consumption of their meat, as well as avoiding direct or close contact with people with Ebola symptoms, particularly with their bodily fluids, without appropriate protective wear.