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EBOLA IN KAMPALA: More Cases of Deadly Disease Confirmed in Ugandan Capital City

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EBOLA IN KAMPALA: More Cases of Deadly Disease Confirmed in Ugandan Capital City
Health officials handling an outbreak. Photo by WHO

The number of cases of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the Ugandan capital Kampala are continuously increasing by each day of reporting, the latest announcement by the country’s Ministry of Health (MoH) have indicated, raising worry of further spread in the congested main administrative and commercial city of the impoverished and land locked East African nation. 

MoH Permanent Secretary Dr Diana Atwine confirmed the outbreak of Ebola, a deadly viral haemorrhagic disease, in the country in September 2022. But the disease is said to have broken out in the district of Mubende weeks before the official declaration. It is said that locals had thought that the sickness and deaths were being caused by some strange disease they did not know about while others had claimed it was witchcraft at work.

But tests carried out by the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) would confirm that the deaths and sickness were not being caused by witchcraft nor some strange disease but rather Ebola. Ebola has since spread to more districts apart from Mubende where the official index case was first confirmed. EVD cases have been reported in the districts of Kassanda, Kyegegwa, Kagadi and Bunyangabu as well as the capital Kampala.

On Saturday, October 22, Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng confirmed that three people who had got into contact with a case from Kassanda District had tested positive for Ebola Virus Disease. Today, Minister Dr Aceng has revealed that two more people from a batch of contacts being monitored at the Mulago National Referral Hospital’s isolation unit had tested positive for the viral disease, according to results from tests carried on samples drawn from them. Kampala now has five confirmed Ebola cases while about 50 people who got into contact with a case from Kassanda are still being monitored at Mulago Isolation Unit.

“Two more contacts to the Kassanda case, who are quarantined in Mulago Isolation facility, tested positive for Ebola yesterday 22nd October. They have been transferred to the Entebbe ETU [Ebola Treatment Unit]. This brings the total number of Ebola cases in Kampala to five. Be alert and remain vigilant,” the minister confirmed.

A little over 20 Ugandans have succumbed to Ebola. The number of the dead includes health workers, with the latest being an owner of a Mubende hospital. The victims also include a man who had escaped from Mubende Hospital, rushed to a witchdoctor in Luweero District before dying at Kiruddu Hospital in Kampala. From this man’s village alone, 10 people have died of Ebola. (See Details Here and There).

It is not clear how President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni will respond to the rising cases of Ebola Virus Disease in the capital Kampala in terms of measures to be put in place to prevent further spread in the congested city. But in his previous Ebola address, which was the third one since the outbreak was confirmed in the country, Gen Museveni put the districts of Mubende and Kassanda under a total lockdown, issuing 24 Ebola prevention directives as outlined in his full address, word by word, HERE.

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