The Recent Ebola Outbreak in Uganda

A little over a month ago, I was in the Fort Portal area of west-central Uganda.  Our group was on a chimpanzee trek.  We only stayed one night.

In July, after I got back to the US, there was a reported Ebola outbreak in the west-central Uganda.  According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) which has a presence in Kampala, Uganda (largely to deal with the HIV/AIDs epidemic):

The Ugandan Ministry of Health has reported an outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in the Kibaale District of western Uganda.  As of July 31, there have been 38 cases and 16 deaths.

Ebola hemorrhagic fever is a scary disease which has occasionally struck central Africa.  Although rare, it is an extremely deadly.  It is spread by direct contact with blood and/or body fluids of an infected person.  It can also be spread by ingesting the meat of an infected animal (ape).  Symptoms include fever, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, and weakness, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain.

The Ebola outbreak is now thought to be under control.  One infected individual did make it to Kampala (Uganda’s largest city) resulting in some panic, but he doesn’t appear to have infected anybody.

In a new initiative, sponsored in part by UNICEF, health workers are using cell phones to text details of drug supplies and disease outbreaks that they had previous put on paper.  This system was engaged after the recent Ebola outbreak, mostly used to disprove reports of further cases and limit public hysteria.

Although there is no known cure for Ebola, there is hope on the horizon.  Monkeys infected with the Ebola virus have been cured by a chemical cocktail administered soon after the initial exposure.  According to a report in Nature, researchers at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, Canada, administered three different antibodies to four infected macaques monkeys.  All four survived without side effects.  The one monkey that was not treated died within five days of the infection.

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3 Responses to The Recent Ebola Outbreak in Uganda

  1. gold price says:

    [ 1 ], the Sudan ebolavirus (SEBOV) has caused three further epidemics in humans: Nzara, Sudan, 1979 [ 2 ], Gulu, Mbarara and Masindi, Uganda 2000 [ 3 – 5 ], and Yambio, Sudan, 2004 [ 6 ]. The reservoir of SEBOV and the mode of primary transmission to man are unknown. Secondary spread occurs through direct contact with infected patients, their body fluids or remains.

  2. Confirmed cases of Ebola HF have been reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Sudan, the Ivory Coast, Uganda, and the Republic of the Congo. No case of the disease in humans has ever been reported in the United States. Ebola-Reston virus caused severe illness and death in monkeys imported to research facilities in the United States and Italy from the Philippines; during these outbreaks, several research workers became infected with the virus, but did not become ill.

  3. There is no animal vaccine available against Ebola Reston. Routine cleaning and disinfection of pig or monkey farms (with sodium hypochlorite or other detergents) is expected to be effective in inactivating the virus. If an outbreak is suspected, the premises should be quarantined immediately. Culling of infected animals, with close supervision of burial or incineration of carcasses, may be necessary to reduce the risk of animal-to-human transmission. Restricting or banning the movement of animals from infected farms to other areas can reduce the spread of the disease.

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