The Ministry of Health has dispatched a team of epidemiologists to investigate the outbreak of the Rift Valley fever reported in Kabale District last week.
The Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Health, Dr Asuman Lukwago, yesterday told Daily Monitor that a team of health workers will investigate and provide surveillance in the district to curb further spread of the disease.
The disease outbreak was confirmed by the Kabale District health officer, Dr Patrick Tusiime, after blood samples taken from two patients at Kabale Regional Referral Hospital tested positive at the Uganda Virus Research Institute based in Entebbe.
“It is the first time we are confirming an outbreak of the disease. It mostly affects animals that later spread it to human beings through mosquito bites,” Dr Lukwago said.
Earlier last Thursday, tension had engulfed health workers and caretakers at the hospital following the admission of two patients bearing symptoms similar to those of Ebola.
Rift valley haemorrhagic fever manifests with symptoms such as high fever, intense fatigue, anorexia, headache, cough, jaundice and an explained bleeding from all body openings.
Dr Lukwago asked all Kabale District residents to stay calm and report any suspicious cases to the health workers as early as possible to enable control. “We shall give a brief on the disease after our team has prepared an assessment report on the situation,” Dr Lukwago said, adding that if it necessitates, veterinary people will have to screen and vaccinate all animals in the district.