Monday June 20 2011

Uganda declared Ebola-free again

By Evelyn Lirri


The Ministry of Health has declared the country free of Ebola-42 days after an outbreak was reported. The ministry first announced an outbreak on May 11 after test results from the Uganda Virus Research Institute indicated that a 12-year-old girl from Luweero District had died from the disease on May 6.
On Friday, State Minister for Health Richard Nduhuura said in the last 42 days only one case has been confirmed. “All the 25 people who got in contact with the dead girl were confirmed Ebola-free on May 27 after a lapse of 21 days,” he said.

Ebola haemorrhagic fever is a deadly disease which has no cure. It is transmitted through direct contact with body fluids of an infected person. Previous outbreaks in Bundibugyo (2007) and Gulu (2000) killed hundreds, including health workers.

Dr Nduhuura said Uganda’s previous experience with the deadly disease had helped to identify and take precautionary measures against the disease, which ended with one death. “As we mark the end of the outbreak, we continue to heighten our surveillance throughout the country, especially in the central region districts of Kampala, Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Wakiso, Mukono and Luweero,” said Dr Nduhuura. World Health Organisation country representative Dr Joaquim Saweka said the Ebola task force should continue monitoring suspected cases.