Five people suspected to have Ebola haemorrhagic fever have been admitted to different health facilities after it was established that they had been in close contact with the two people who were confirmed to have succumbed to the disease, following the latest outbreak in Luweero District, 50 kilometers from Kampala.
Two of the suspects, an elderly woman and his son both related to the deceased, were Thursday admitted to the Mulago National Referral Hospital isolation facility where they are being closely monitored as they wait for results from their blood samples, expected on Friday.
Another person is admitted at Bombo Military Hospital in Luweero, while the other three are confined to their homes as an isolation centre is being set up at Nyimbwa Health Centre IV.
The Commissioner for National Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Denis Lwamafa said 15 people in Nyimbwa sub-county, Luweero, who are suspected to have come in contact with the fatalities are now under surveillance.
“This is a fresh outbreak. There is no epidemiological link between the outbreaks in Kibaale, western Uganda and the one in Luweero,” Dr Lwamafa said while responding to concerns on the possibility that the country could have been immaturely declared Ebola-free.
Uganda was declared Ebola free on October 4th after observing a 42 day post Ebola surveillance period.
Laboratory investigations done at the Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe have confirmed that two people, all from one family in Sambwe Parish in Nyimbwa Sub-county, Luweero District, were among the first three fatalities of the Sudan strain virus that has been reported in the area.
The Minister for Health Dr. Christine Ondoa confirmed the outbreak Thursday.
This is the second epidemic in the country this year. The first one claimed 11 lives.
The World Health Organisation, however, says that there is no travel ban on Uganda yet, with an exception of the affected areas. As a result, the minister told journalists, Uganda’s borders remain open both for people coming in and leaving the country.
She however said the government cannot regulate or stop other countries that may ban Ugandans from entering their countries.
Below is the Minister’s statement in full:
Ministry Of Health
15th November 2012
EBOLA OUTBREAK IN LUWEERO DISTRICT
KAMPALA - The Ministry of Health would like to inform the general public that another Viral Hemorrhagic fever, Ebola, has broken out in the country. This follows confirmation from the laboratory investigations done at the Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe that two people, all from one family in Kakute sub-county, Sambu parish in Nyimbwa sub-county, Luweero district, had died of Ebola, the Sudan strain.