Sarah Opendi: No Ebola in Uganda

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The health ministry on Sunday refuted claims that viral haemorrhagic Ebola fever, had killed a 35-year-old man in Mubende district.

Sarah Opendi, the state minister for health (general duties), said: “There is no Ebola outbreak in Mubende or any other part of the country.”

Rather, she said, what has been quoted in the media was a case of Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever, which presents just like Ebola but is less vicious.

A man from Nkoko sub-county in Bugangaizi County, Kakumiro district, was rushed to Melt Care Clinic with severe fever last week.

He was vomiting, and admitted for two days at the facility, the minister said.

But relatives transferred him to Galde Medical Clinic in Kakumiro district (on May 23) after he did not improve. Galde would later refer him to Mubende Regional Referral Hospital.

The clinician on duty at Mubende Hospital immediately recommended the patient to the facility’s isolation room, where he received intravenous fluids.

Unfortunately, he died that same night.

But samples taken off the body later tested positive for Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever at the Uganda Virus Research Institute, and not Ebola.

Ebola Viral Haemorrhagic Fever presents with bleeding from body openings, severe fever, and has a high fatality rate.

Symptoms manifest between two to 21 days of infection, usually after contact with an infected person.

More than 35 cases have been confirmed and 23 deaths registered since the outbreak hit the Democratic Republic of Congo (Uganda’s neighbour to the west) last year — according to the World Health Organisation.

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