What you need to know:
- One can also contract the disease through contact with blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals such as fruit bats and other wild animals.
The Ministry of Health has reported six new cases of Ebola, raising the total number of infected people to seven amid warnings from health experts that numbers will increase.
Speaking at an online media briefing yesterday, Dr Henry Kyobe, the Ebola Incident Commander, said they forecast an increase in cases, adding that actions are underway to protect the population and health workers.
“As of today, we have seven confirmed cases, one confirmed Ebola death and seven probable [Ebola] deaths. We have listed 43 contacts [of the victims],” he said.
Ms Rosemary Byabashaija, the Mubende Resident District Commissioner, told this newspaper that by yesterday afternoon, they had about 16 Ebola patients (suspected and confirmed) at Mubende Hospital.
“Four patients are seriously sick while the other 12 are responding to treatment,” she said.
Dr Kyobe said they are increasing contact tracing and managing the cases to curb the spread and minimise deaths. He said majority of the cases are coming from five sub-counties in Mubende.
“But one case came from the neighbouring district–Kyegegwa. The [epidemic] appears to have started around the beginning of September when people started dying in one of the villages in Mubende and it was until 19th of this month that the Ebola was confirmed,” Dr Kyobe said.
However, reports from the response team in Mubende indicate that health workers are reluctant to participate in the response because of the way the government handled them when they were treating Covid-19 patients.
The Covid-19 health workers were terminated by the Health ministry when cases declined and their allowances have not been fully paid.
Mr Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the spokesperson of the Health ministry, said these issues are being handled.
Dr Kyobe also said they were repurposing and extending the treatment centre at Mubende Hospital, which
had previously been used for Covid-19 treatment.
“Uganda has a lot of experience in handling Ebola. This is the third Ebola Sudan outbreak in the country,” he said.
He added: “Mubende District lies on a major highway that leads to Kampala from DR Congo and it has busy trading places and the goldmine on one side is very close to where the epicentre is.”
According to the Health ministry, Ebola Virus Disease is transmitted through contact with the blood, stool or fluids of an infected person and objects that have been contaminated with body fluids from an infected person.
One can also contract the disease through contact with blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals such as fruit bats and other wild animals.
The known symptoms of Ebola include high body temperatures, fatigue, chest pain, diarrhoea, vomiting, unexplained bleeding, and yellow eyes. Bleeding is usually a late presentation after the above symptoms, according to the Health ministry.