Uganda Ebola Toll Reaches 103, Survivors Shunned : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Friday November 10 5:56 AM ET Uganda Ebola Toll Reaches 103, Survivors Shunned

KAMPALA (Reuters) - As the death toll in Uganda's Ebola epidemic rose to 103 on Friday, survivors of the virus were returning home to find themselves shunned by fearful neighbors and their belongings burned.

``In Gulu in particular, those who have recovered are being shunned,'' said Sam Okware, commissioner for health services.

``It seems to be universal now -- they are burning all their belongings. Their own families still think they are infected.''

There have now been 99 deaths in the northern district of Gulu, where the outbreak began in September, and four deaths in the busy commercial town of Mbarara, 260 miles to the south.

Another 31 people remain in hospital with the disease, while 172 are thought to have recovered, although this number could include some people who never had the virus at all.

Health officials say they believe Ebola was brought to the army barracks at Mbarara by a soldier visiting from Gulu who later died in Mbarara University Hospital.

The three other Mbarara deaths have all been linked to this case. Two were fellow soldiers and the third was a prisoner on parole who was helping to care for sick prisoners and soldiers in the hospital.

Officials reported six more suspected cases in Gulu on Thursday, but none in Mbarara.

Okware said the government, with the help of international aid agencies, had begun this week to supply basic necessities like blankets and sheets to Ebola victims who had recovered, and to counsel their families and neighbors.

The virus spreads through direct contact with an infected person. It causes headaches, abdominal and chest pains and vomiting, often leading to massive internal bleeding, shock and eventually death.

Ebola has struck central Africa several times since it was first recognized in 1976. Since there is no known cure, all doctors can do is isolate the patient and provide supportive therapy to keep him or her fully hydrated.

-- Martin Thompson (, November 11, 2000


AP International Ebola Confirmed in 3rd Uganda Area

by HENRY WASSWA Associated Press Writer

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) -- Despite efforts to contain an Ebola outbreak in Uganda, a case of the deadly virus has been confirmed in a third district, a health official said Sunday.

The new case was found in Masindi, 112 miles northwest of Kampala, the capital, said Francis Omaswa, director-general of Uganda's health services. Omaswa gave no details except to say that a man diagnosed with Ebola had been admitted to a local hospital.

Another Ebola victim also died in Gulu, 225 miles north of the capital, where the outbreak was first confirmed on Oct. 14, he said. That brings the death toll in the outbreak to 106.

Health officials had hoped to contain the virus in Gulu district, but on Nov. 2 a soldier who had been in Gulu was confirmed to have died of the disease in Mbarara, 175 miles southwest of Kampala. Since then, three more people have died of Ebola in Mbarara.

''Investigation of reported suspected cases continues in different parts of the country,'' Omaswa said in Sunday's statement. ''So far, Ebola cases have only been confirmed in Gulu, Mbarara and Masindi districts.''

In all, 323 people have been infected with the virus, Omaswa said.

The fever caused by the Ebola virus is transmitted through body fluids. The disease can cause severe hemorrhagic fever and is often fatal.

Ebola's early symptoms are similar to the flu, a situation that has led to many false reports. No one knows where the virus exists between outbreaks or where the disease originated.

There is no medical cure for the Ebola virus, but patients aggressively treated to reverse dehydration have a good chance of survival.

-- Martin Thompson (, November 13, 2000.

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