Skip to comments.Itís red alert over possible Ebola case
Posted on 08/04/2012 5:04:42 PM PDT by Mother Abigail
Its red alert over possible Ebola case Sunday, 05 August 2012 02:42
By Joas Kaijage, The Citizen Correspondent
Bukoba. A state of alert has been imposed along the Tanzania border with Uganda following fears over a suspected outbreak of Ebola in Kagera Region.
However, medical personnel said the case was yet to be confirmed until samples from a six-year-old boy admitted to Nyakahanga hospital in Karagwe will be sent for further laboratory tests in Uganda.
In an exclusive interview with The Citizen on Sunday, the Karagwe District medical officer, Dr Elias Mayala, said the patient from Nyakatuntu Village has been under quarantine in an isolated room at Nyakahanga hospital awaiting confirmation of the tests.
In the interim, Dr Mayala said, district authorities had mounted a strict surveillance of the Mutukula and Murongo border posts. This includes deployment of medical personnel to stop the disease from spreading to Tanzania.
He said among other routines, the medical personnel at the border posts were responsible for holding awareness raising meetings on the deadly disease. They were also ensuring that they detect early enough possible cases among visitors crossing to the other side.
He said along with the efforts, local FM radio stations in the area have been engaged in disseminating messages on prevention. They are especially used to create awareness of its symptoms and how it spreads among border communities.
In fact, it is not correct to say there is an outbreak of Ebola following this particular suspicion, but strict measures are inevitable to stop the disease from spreading to our side, said Dr Mayala. Since the reported incident, authorities in Karagwe have also been carrying out investigations to uncover more information. They wish to know whether there is any other related cases near the village in Kieran District where the victim allegedly comes from.
An employee at the Nyakahanga hospital, who declined to be named because he was not the spokesperson, said the admitted Ebola- suspected child was placed under quarantine along with his mother. The employee said the child had clear signs of Ebola, including bleeding profusely through his ears and nose when relatives brought him to the Karagwe District Designated Hospital.
However, Kagera Regional Commissioner Fabian Massawe told The Citizen on Sunday in a telephone interview that reports of a possible outbreak of the life threatening disease in the region were shocking. He said Karagwe District was among the most vulnerable districts in the region following its closeness to Mbarara District in Uganda where the deadly disease has allegedly wreaked havoc in the recent past.
Last month, an outbreak of Ebola killed at least 14 people in mid-western Uganda. A team of health experts from the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organisation and Uganda was immediately deployed to the area to begin emergency response measures, according to a statement released by the Uganda government.
The total number of people suspected to have caught the virus was 20. A clinical officer who treated the first case fell ill and died soon afterwards. Her four-month old baby who was admitted for treatment also died four days later. The virus which manifests itself as a hemorrhagic fever has in recent years killed at a rate of above 70 per cent of those infected and has been identified as Ebola Sudan. In 2000 it killed 224 people in Uganda after an outbreak.
Ebola was first reported in 1976 in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo and is named after the river where it was recognised, according to the CDC. Of the first 318 cases, 280 died soon after its outbreak. In that year, a total of 284 people in Sudan were also infected with the virus and 156 died.
According to clinical officers, the virus spreads through the blood, multiplying in many organs. It causes severe damage to the liver, lymphatic system, kidneys, ovaries and testes. Internal bleeding results in shock and acute respiratory distress, leading to death.
Once a patient is infected with Ebola, the incubation period is four to 16 days. The onset of the disease is sudden, with fever, chills, headache, anorexia and muscle pain. Bleeding occurs from multiple sites, including the digestive tract, lungs as well as gums and death occurs within seven to 16 days.
There is neither cure nor vaccine for the virus. The most effective way to reduce or prevent transmission in an outbreak is through the proper use of barrier protection for doctors and nurses. The reason is that people do not carry the virus for once sick their infected blood and bodily fluids infect others
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Earlier thread with info on the Uganda Outbreak
EA in panic as Ebola strikes again in Uganda
By JOINT REPORT Special Correspondents
Posted Saturday, August 4 2012 at 19:44
Uganda is studying the puzzling behaviour of the Ebola Sudan virus in the latest outbreak that had killed 16 people mid last week.
So far what we see is that it is atypical. Its behaviour is very suspicious, Dr Anthony Mbonye the Commissioner for Health Services at the Ministry of Health told The EastAfrican, explaining that unlike the typical Sudan strain, victims in the latest suffer fevers without the bleeding normally associated with the virus.
Thank God we took a sample early because we would be thinking they are suffering from fever yet it is Ebola, said Mbonye.
The Uganda Ministry of Health declared an outbreak of Ebola in Kibaale district, about 160km west of Kampala.
Confirmatory test results were done at the Centres for Disease Control, Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) laboratory in Entebbe.
Authorities were following 176 people that came into contact with the deceased while another 38 suspected cases were under observation.
Although it is confirmed as the Sudan Ebola strain, a viral haemorrhagic fever, it is presenting with less bleeding or haemorrhage, as should be the case with Ebola.
Ebola has no cure and vaccine while this particular strain, Ebola Sudan, kills at least 50 per cent of the people who get infected so more deaths are expected.
We are not seeing much of the bleeding this time, said Dr Jackson Amone, the Assistant Commissioner Integrated Services at the Ministry of Health who was travelling to Kagadi Hospital in Kibaale, western Uganda, where the first cases were reported.
Ebola typically presents with fever, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhoea, joint pains and bleeding.
Most of the patients bleed when they are about to die with the cases we are handling. Sometimes you can confuse it for malaria because there is a high fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, said Dr Amone.
According to health workers, in the absence of body fluids the latest strain is easier to manage because Ebola virus is transmissible through contact with body fluids-saliva, vomit, sweat, blood or other fluids in the body of an infected person.
Like in all Ebola outbreaks in Uganda, patients may have transmitted it to medical personnel. All medical personnel who were initially in contact with the people who died have been asked to stay at home until after 21 days.
As more investigations are ongoing, samples have been sent to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers (VHF) laboratory in USA. Results are expected after one week.
CDC is sending samples to Atlanta to do additional sequencing. But the indication now is that it is not a new strain. It is the Sudan strain based on PCR testing, which is specific, said Erik Friedly, the associate head of communication at CDC-Uganda.
Ah! At last, a kinder, gentler Ebola...
Not causing bleeding... odd shift.
It was in the most stagnant hellholes on earth that my dear friends were always the funniest.
I admire that trait in our species.
It is. Makes it harder to spot, and might make it easier to spread as a result.
It’s even more worrisome to think that some people in that area may have traveled to the US and Europe and are standing in the welfare lines right now.
Why? Would it not make it easier to control if not airborne?
Never mind post 11 answered the question....should have read further first.
Doesn’t sound like a fun time once you catch this. One of these years something like this is gonna run wild across the globe.
A drug-resistant and quick-acting form of HIV has been detected in New York City. Although diagnosed in only one man so far, this mutated version of the virus progresses to AIDS faster than other forms of HIV.
Imagine if it mutated again and became air born.
Ping, if you haven’t seen this already...
Thanks for the ping!
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