Outbreaks and Updates Tropical Medicine

Bundibugyo, Uganda Ebola Trouble

Another fatality has been reported from Fort Portal in Uganda.  This case, believed to be Ebola hemorrhagic fever, would make the 17th death from the Ebola outbreak that began in August of 2007.

Unfortunately, a larger number of suspected cases are healthcare workers (nurses) that care for the known Ebola cases. Reports from a New Vision team that visited the hospital in the center of the outbreak tell of poor hygiene, a lack of isolation and little to non-existent contact precautions such as gloves and gowns. Medicien Sans Frontiers and the CDC have both sent teams to assist with diagnosis and care of patients.

Public education is a chief concern and intervention to be made. The Rwenzori region has stepped up public education programs about symptoms and recognition of the disease. “Other reports from Bundibugyo say elders have resorted to consulting their oracles and sacrificing to their ancestors to appease the gods.” Original article from AllAfrica.com can be found here:

December 5th update
Two doctors in Uganda have died from Ebola virus. IRIN has an interesting article about the continuing outbreak: http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=75702.  Some officials involved with treating the patients have commented that there is inadequate protective gear in Mulago and other hospitals, placing doctors and nurses at risk for infection from their patients. 

 Keith McKenzie, the UNICEF representative in Uganda, told reporters on 5 December the priority was “to ensure safety of the community and the health workers supporting them”, before announcing other forms of interventions, including tents, plastic sheeting, drums of chlorine and emergency health kits for 1,000 persons for three months.

Ebola, named after a small Democratic Republic of Congo river, killed at least 170 people in northern Uganda in 2000, and is associated with poverty, poor hygiene and hospital acquired infections. Ebola was first documented in 1976 in the DRC, but outbreaks have ben noted in Ivory Coast and Gabon, as well.

You can visit the Adventure Doc Hemorrhagic Virus page

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