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Ugandan spreads deadly Ebola virus from hospital November 13, 2000 Web posted at: 11:28 AM EST (1628 GMT)
KAMPALA, Uganda (Reuters) -- A Ugandan woman unwittingly spread a deadly Ebola epidemic after fleeing a hospital at the center of the outbreak in a desperate attempt to escape the virus, officials said Monday.
The unnamed patient had been receiving treatment for a different illness in St Mary's Hospital at Lacor, close to the town of Gulu.
"When she learned there was Ebola in Lacor, she ran away," said Sam Okware, Uganda's commissioner for health services.
But it now appears she was already infected with Ebola -- which in many cases leads to massive internal bleeding, shock, and eventually death. There is no known cure for the disease which has killed at least 109 people in the latest outbreak.
Ministry of Health UgandaThe woman died and unknowingly passed Ebola to relatives in her home village in Masindi district, 120 km (75 miles) south of Gulu. The virus spreads through direct contact with an infected person.
"Her daughter and another dependant in the house also died, and the husband of the daughter is now in hospital," Okware said.
Ebola experts from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that blood samples from the woman's son-in-law had tested positive for Ebola. He has been isolated in hospital near his home village.
Health ministry officials and staff from the World Health Organization (WHO) and aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres travelled to Masindi on Monday.
"They want to get all the contacts -- all the people at the burials, those that had cared for them," Okware said.
The outbreak began early in October and spread late last month to the southern commercial town of Mbarara, where four people have died. Nineteen new suspected cases have been admitted to hospitals in Gulu since Friday.
-- K (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 13, 2000