4 August 2012

Rwanda: No Panic Over Ebola Scare - Health Ministry

Photo: Ismail Kasooha/New Vision
Health workers preparing to handle Ebola patients: There is no treatment or vaccine against Ebola, which is transmitted by close personal contact and, depending on the strain, can kill up to 90% of those who contract the virus.

The has called upon the general public not to panic over the Ebola outbreak in the neighbouring Uganda saying that all measures to contain it are in place.

The message was given by the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana during a press conference at the Ministry head offices.

Ebola hemorrhagic fever is a highly contagious disease transmitted from person to person and characterised by fever, headache, joint and muscle pain, sore throat, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pains and bleeding from all outlets.

Uganda's Ministry of Health and World health Organisation (WHO) confirmed an outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in Kibale district in Western Uganda near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) last weekend leading to Rwanda coming up with stringent measures to contain its crossing.

"We have done all we can to make sure that we prevent any spread of Ebola in case it comes to Rwanda," said Ndagijimana adding that the Ministry is concluding training for district health workers on how to contain the disease with empahsisi on the Ugandan border.

The disease started from Kibale district which is approximately 300 Kilometers from the Rwandan border. It is specifically near the districts of Musanze, Nyagatare, Gicumbi and Burera. Due to high traffic and population movements, there is risk that Ebola can be imported to Rwanda at any time.

The P.S said that the Ugandna authorities are also doing everything possible to contain the spread of the disease caused by a virus called Ebola.

Reports from Uganda indicate that the deaths have so far increased from 12 on Monday to 16, while 12 new cases of the haemorrhagic fever were registered at Kagadi Hospital in Kibaale District. The number of people being 'actively followed up' has risen from 176 to 232 in the last 48 hours.

The Ministry of health reminds the public to however, continue be vigilant and to immediately report any case of Ebola they identify to the nearest health center.

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