Friday, August 01, 2014

Uganda refutes reports of Ebola outbreak

The Ugandan government on Thursday said there was no outbreak of the deadly Ebola hemorrhagic fever in the country after the suspected cases were confirmed to be negative.

Ruhakana Rugunda, minister of health, told reporters that laboratory results from the suspected cases turned out negative.

"There is no confirmed case of Ebola in Uganda. Media reports of reported cases in Kitgum and Kampala districts are false," he said, adding that any reported case will be investigated promptly and the public will be informed.

Three countries in West Africa, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leon have for the last four months been devastated by an outbreak of Ebola.
Latest figure from the World Health Organization (WHO) showed that there were more than 1,000 registered cases, including 729 deaths.

Rugunda said the country was on high alert after a reported unconfirmed Ebola case in neighboring Kenya.

He said government has reinstated the country's National Task Force on Epidemics and Disease Surveillance to watch out on any Ebola alerts throughout the country.

He said the ministry has set up a screening desk at the country's Entebbe International Airport to check travelers who have a travel history to West Africa in the last 21 days before coming to Uganda. The disease incubates in 21 days.

"All districts have been directed to be vigilant and look out for suspected cases and alerts for immediate action," Rugunda said.

He said the country has stocked enough drugs in case of any outbreak. The ministry has also assembled a team of experts to be on standby to be deployed in areas where suspected cases are reported.

The ministry also advised the public to limit their travels to any of the affected countries in West Africa until the situation is contained.

"The ministry calls upon the public to stay calm as all possible measures are being undertaken to keep the country safe from the epidemic," Rugunda said.

Ebola last broke out in Uganda in 2012, leaving over 20 people dead.

The disease is a highly infectious and presents with symptoms like fever, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headache, measles- like rash, red eyes, and sometimes with bleeding from body openings.

Xinhua -


  1. Sierra Leone declares emergency as Ebola death toll hits 729...

    (Reuters) - Sierra Leone has declared a state of emergency and called in troops to quarantine Ebola victims, joining neighboring Liberia in imposing controls as the death toll from the outbreak of the virus hit 729 in West Africa.

    The World Health Organisation said it would launch a $100 million response plan on Friday during a meeting with the affected nations in Guinea. It is in urgent talks with donors and international agencies to send more medical staff and resources to the region, it said.

    The WHO on Thursday reported 57 new deaths in the four days to July 27 in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, raising the death toll to 729. It said the number of Ebola cases had topped 1,300.

    "The scale of the Ebola outbreak, and the persistent threat it poses, requires WHO and Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to take the response to a new level, and this will require increased resources," WHO Director General Margaret Chan said.

    Sierra Leone's president, Ernest Bai Koroma, announced a series of emergency measures, to initially last 60 to 90 days, in a speech on Wednesday night.

    "Sierra Leone is in a great fight. Failure is not an option," he said.

    Security forces will enforce a quarantine on all centers of the disease and help health officers and aid workers to work unhindered, following attacks on health workers by local people.

    Liberia has put in place measures including the closure of all schools and a possible quarantine of affected communities.

    The outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever, for which there is no known cure, began in the forests of eastern Guinea in February, but Sierra Leone now has the highest number of cases..................

  2. A West African Ebola outbreak is “out of control,” and the affected countries are struggling to contain the disease, Jason Cone, spokesman for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) aid group, told RIA Novosti....

    “The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is out of control, and the current response is insufficient compared to the needs. In Sierra Leone and Liberia, there are critical gaps in all aspects of the response. MSF does not have a clear overview of the most affected areas and it is believed that people are still dying in their villages without access to medical care,” Cone said.

    “The epidemic further strains weak health systems already trying to cope with malaria and maternal mortality. Many health facilities are closed or empty, as people are not seeking care for regular illnesses for fear of being infected. Some health workers have been infected or have died. Many are too scared to come to work,” he said....................

  3. Ebola : la course contre la montre de MSF...

    Ecoles fermées au Libéria, état d’urgence en Sierra Léone, sommet régional en Guinée, les pouvoirs publics prennent peu à peu la mesure de l’épidémie. Mais les messages de prévention passent mal auprès des populations locales.

    Dans les villages reculés, la voix des ONG – dont MSF, présente sur place avec 500 intervenants, porte peu. C’est notamment en enterrant les victimes du virus que les villageois se contaminent. « Le virus se transmet par les échancrures mains, au contact des fluides corporels. Or, bien souvent, les gens manipulent les malades sans mettre de gants », souligne Brigitte Vasset, directrice adjointe de MSF. Autre limite : l'impossibilité d'établir un cordon sanitaire. Les populations se regroupent par communautés. Les frontières sont poreuses.

    Le défaut d’information et de précaution : c’est la cause principale de la résurgence de l’Ebola, alors que la fièvre hémorragique semblait contenue mi-mars.

    Pour les équipes de MSF sur place, les conditions son éprouvantes. « Certains interviennent avec des scaphandres, ils ne tiennent pas plus de 40 minutes compte tenu de la chaleur. On travaille en binôme, on se relaie pour éviter tout relâchement », ajoute Brigitte Vasset.
    Sommet régional

    Au bout de sept mois d’une flambée de fièvre hémorragique qui, au 27 juillet, avait fait 729 morts (339 en Guinée, 233 en Sierra Leone , 156 au Liberia, un au Nigeria), selon le dernier bilan de l’Organisation mondiale de la Santé (OMS), la Sierra Leone et le Liberia ont fini par adopter de strictes mesures sanitaires.

    Face à l’urgence, les Etats tentent une réponse concertée. Un sommet à Conakry a réuni vendredi les 3 pays touches, plus la Côte d’Ivoire et l’OMS. L’OMS a annoncé un soutien financier de 100 millions de dollars (75 millions d’euros). Ce qui correspond à l’envoi de “centaines” d’humanitaires supplémentaires sur les lieux de l’épidémie...........En savoir plus sur


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