KAMPALA, WAKISO LISTED AMONG EBOLA HIGH RISK DISTRICTS
The districts of Kampala and Wakiso have been listed among the high-risk areas that require increased surveillance in the wake of an outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC.
The caution follows confirmation that parts of North Kivu Province near the borders with Uganda and Rwanda have been devastated by the Zaire strain of the Ebola virus, a serious illness which is often fatal if untreated.
Up to 43 people are believed to have been infected in North Kivu province since the declaration of the latest outbreak last week. The area has so far recorded 36 deaths, according to a statement issued by the DRC Ministry of Health.
46 other suspected cases are being investigated.
World Health Organisation Deputy Director for emergency preparedness and response Peter Salama said that analysis of genetic sequencing showed that the outbreak in North Kivu is separate from the one that was declared over in Equateur Province two weeks ago. He said the virus poses a high risk to Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, and South Sudan.
According to the Uganda health ministry, the outbreak threatens 22 Ugandan districts, most of them at the borders in West Nile, Western and South Western Uganda.
They include Adjumani, Arua, Koboko, Maracha, Moyo, Nebbi, Yumbe and Zombo in West Nile, Kabarole, Kagadi, Kasese, Buliisa, Bundibugyo, Hoima and Ntoroko in Western Uganda, and Kabale, Kanungu, Kisoro, Rubiriizi and Rukungiri in South Western Uganda.
The Ministry says that surveillance teams are on the ground to curb spread of the deadly virus into Ugandan territories.
In a statement, the Ministry has also advised Ugandans to report suspected cases of Ebola to health facilities, or call a toll free line 0800100066.
The virus causes hemorrhagic fever, vomiting and diarrhoea and is spread through direct contact with body fluids.