Sunday December 5 2010

Strange disease kills 38

By Evelyn Lirri

The death toll from a strange disease that is devastating parts of northern Uganda has now reached 38. Another 91 people are also reported to be infected and suffering from the unknown disease, which scientists from the Uganda Virus Research Institute are trying to establish.

A team of health experts has already been dispatched to northern Uganda to monitor the situation, but also try and establish the cause of the disease.

Ministry of Health officials said yesterday that preliminary laboratory tests conducted by local and international researchers have tested negative for the deadly Ebola, Marburg, Congo Crimean fever, Rift Valley fever and Typhoid.

“Further tests are being run to identify the disease,” said Dr Kenya Mugisha, the director general of health services in the health ministry.

Dr Mugisha said the yet-to-be- established disease has since November 10, been reported in the districts of Agago, Pader, Abim, Lamwo, and Gulu.

According to the ministry of Health, the affected patients complain of severe headache, dizziness, and a mild fever at the onset and then progress with pain in the abdomen together with diarrhoea and vomiting.
The general public has now been urged to avoid eating sick and dead domestic animals, observe personal hygiene including hand washing and report suspected cases to the nearest health facility.