Ebola outbreak: Fresh concerns as pupil gets infected

The country experienced outbreaks of Ebola in 2000, 2014, 2017 and 2018, with the first outbreak claiming the highest number of lives, 224, according to information from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

What you need to know:

  • A raft of alert guidelines will, however, be robustly enforced in the schools, with visitation days taken off the table as the ground zero of Uganda’s latest Ebola outbreak looks to get ahead of another headache.

Authorities in Mubende District have ruled out the possibility of closing schools even after confirming the first Ebola case at one of the primary schools in Mubende municipality.

A raft of alert guidelines will, however, be robustly enforced in the schools, with visitation days taken off the table as the ground zero of Uganda’s latest Ebola outbreak looks to get ahead of another headache.

“It is true that we have a confirmed positive Ebola case for a seven-year-old pupil, but the surveillance and medical teams will continue to closely monitor the health of the other pupils at the same school. The health teams have a set of strict guidelines for schools,” Ms Rose Mary Byabasaija, the Mubende Resident District Commissioner, said on Friday.

The seven-year-old pupil’s mother succumbed to Ebola six days ago. Since the pupil reported to school, health officials have confirmed that they are following up and monitoring the health statuses of various contacts.

Mr Bernard Lubwama, a health educator attached to the Ministry of Health, called for team work and adherence to health alert guidelines while briefing school heads and proprietors of learning institutions in Mubende Municipality on Friday.

The schools are supposed to take temperatures of children and act immediately on cases where a particular child has a temperature above 380C.

“While the temperature may occasionally rise above 370C, a child who maintains a temperature above 380C for more than five minutes must be referred for further management without delay,” he said.

Schools have also been urged to keep proper records about children who are absent from school for more than two days and immediately find out why.

“Investigate the children who report a case of death at their respective families and dig out the details in coordination with the health surveillance teams,” Mr Lubwama said.

While the Health ministry, through its spokesperson Emmanuel Ainebyona, revealed that the cumulative confirmed cases stood at 58 and confirmed deaths at 19 by October 13, the Mubende taskforce team revealed that the cumulative confirmed cases were 80 as of October 14.

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