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Outbreaks and Updates Travel Health Tropical Medicine

Ebola in Uganda Dec. 6th

The Ebola Outbreak in the Bundibugyo district of Uganda continues to attract attention. The CDC released a report of the status, thus far. The outbreak, located in the wesatern part of the country, was believed to have started in August of 2007. As of December 3rd 2007, there have been 75 people ill, 9 verified cases of Ebola and 18 deaths.

Transmission
Ebola is transmitted through body fluids. Blood, semen, saliva and urine are prime examples of transmission routes and the disease is infecting the healthcare workers who care for the victims. IRIN has a very good article that explores the lack of gloves, gowns and masks for the nurses and doctors and the risks they face in taking care of these patients. Originally, the outbreak’s beginning is believed to stem from locals eating monkeys alreaday infected with the virus. “Bush Meat” is a common food source is the area. Handling of dead, forest dwelling animals is also a risk factor for getting Ebola.

Travel to Uganda
The WHO is not advising travel restrictions for the country as the risk of becoming infected with Ebola virus, for the general traveler, is quite low. The WHO has a statement about the outbreak. Travelers are advised to avoid physical contact with those known to have Ebola, avoid contact with syringes and not to eat bushmeat and have minimal primate contact.

More on Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers at AdventureDoc.org

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