Ebola: The dos and don’ts

What you need to know:

  • Epidemiologists believe the Ebola Sudan strain in Uganda, which is different from the Zaire variant subsisting in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), transmitted to humans from wildlife, with monkeys, apes, forest antelope or porcupines and bats reservoirs.

The burial of persons who have died of, or are suspected to have succumbed to the disease, should be buried by health workers or under their supervision to stem spread of the virulent disease, the government said yesterday.

In a listing of dos and don’ts, Dr Diana Atwine, the Health ministry Permanent Secretary, urged Ugandans to strengthen hygiene practices, including continuing with regular washing of the hands with soap as they have done to guard against Covid-19 infection.

She, in line with protocols issued on Ebola prevention by the World Health Organisation (WHO), asked the uninfected to avoid contact with body fluids - saliva, urine, blood, sweat, vomitus and stool of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) patients.

The PS, who announced confirmation of Ebola in the country hours after this newspaper broke the news, called for placement of hand-washing facilities, many removed or abandoned after the threat of Covid-19 diminished, at all public premises throughout the country.

Epidemiologists believe the Ebola Sudan strain in Uganda, which is different from the Zaire variant subsisting in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), transmitted to humans from wildlife, with monkeys, apes, forest antelope or porcupines and bats reservoirs. 

The United Nations health watchdog, WHO, advises those who get in contact with such animals, whether during scientific research or hunting, to wear gloves and other appropriate protective clothing and eaters must cook the meat thoroughly. 

WHO, based on analysis of ongoing research and consideration by its advisory group, advises Ebola survivors to have protected sex for at least a year until their semen tests negative twice for the virus.

Experts, who spoke at yesterday’s press conference in Kampala during which PS Atwine confirmed the Ebola outbreak, asked health workers caring for patients to be vigilant for Ebola-like symptoms, and refer suspect cases.

Prevention

●    Avoid physical contact with anyone who shows the signs and symptoms of Ebola.

●    Wash hands and maintain good hand hygiene at all times.

●    Avoid contact with body fluids such as urine, blood, sweat, vomitus and stool.

●    Avoid handling dead bodies suspected to have Ebola-like symptoms.

●    Institute hand washing facilities in all public places.

●    Avoid contact with fruit bats, monkeys, apes, forest antelope or porcupines and the consumption of their raw meat.

●    Avoid contact with semen from a man who has recovered from EVD, until testing shows that the virus is gone from his semen.

●    Avoid contact with items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids (such as bedding, needles, and medical equipment).

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