Health

KABALE ON HIGH ALERT FOLLOWING EBOLA OUTBREAK IN MUBENDE

Early initiation of supportive treatment has been shown to significantly reduce deaths from Ebola.

By Alex Byakatonda

KABALE:  Kabale District has been placed on high alert, after the Ministry of health declared an outbreak of Ebola, following a case of the Sudan ebolavirus was confirmed in Mubende district.

Addressing a news conference in Kampala today {Thursday} the Ministry of Health permanent secretary, Dr Diana Atwine, noted that the Uganda Virus Research Institute confirmed the case after testing a sample taken from a 24-year-old male.

Dr Atwine added that before his death, the 24year old man showed signs and symptoms of Ebola, like high fever, diarrhoea and abdominal pains and was also vomiting blood. He had initially been treated for malaria.

She added that currently eight suspected cases are receiving care in a health facility.

Now, the Kabale District Health officer, Dr Gilbert A. Mateeka, said that the district has been placed on high alert. He says that they have already started holding meetings with World Health Organisation-WHO representatives for Kigezi region and officials at Kabale Regional Referral hospital, so as to improve on the district’s alertness.

He called on members of the public to ensure a high level of vigilance and report any suspected cases, especially among the people, who will have travelled from the affected district. Kabale District registers at least four public transport service vehicles that vie the Kabale – Fortportal – Mubende route on a daily basis.

The Kabale Deputy Resident District commissioner, Ronald Bakak, said that the fact that the District hosts the regional referral hospital puts the public in the district at high risk, since most serious health cases are referred here. He also called on members of the public to exhibit a high level of alertness.

There have been seven previous outbreaks of the Sudan ebolavirus, with four occurring in Uganda and three in Sudan. Uganda last reported an outbreak of Sudan ebolavirus in 2012. In 2019, the country experienced an outbreak of Zaire ebolavirus.

The virus was imported from neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo, which was battling a large epidemic in its north-eastern region.

Ebola is a severe, often fatal illness affecting humans and other primates.

It has six different species, three of which (Bundibugyo,
Sudan and Zaire) have previously caused large outbreaks. Case fatality rates of the Sudan virus have varied from 41% to 100% in past outbreaks.

Early initiation of supportive treatment has been shown to
significantly reduce deaths from Ebola.

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