10 August 2012

Uganda: Nebbi Deaths Due to Dysentery, Not Ebola

The Nebbi district health officer Dr. Oryema Jakor has clarified that the couple whose death last Sunday sparked off an Ebola scare in the district could have died of dysentery and not the deadly hemorrhagic fever now reported in Kibaale district.

Luciano Opio, 81 and his wife Celestina Ongoja, 75 both residents of Obat village succumbed to death at Angal Hospital due to occasional sores in the mouth, abdominal pain, fever, vomiting and bloody diarrhea which ignited fears that they could have died of Ebola.

Dr. Jakor told New Vsion that they have clinically examined the two deaths and noted that there are strong indicators that dysentery was the cause of the ageing couple's death.

"There is no need for the team of experts from Kampala to come into the district. This couple could have died of dysentery," he said.

He noted that they were keeping a close watch on the members of the family and the health workers who handled the deceased.

The police from Parombo police post on Monday rushed to the funeral place of the couple to prevent the people from getting into contact with the dead bodies.

They did so after the district health authorities had informed and requested for Ebola experts from the ministry which caused panic among Nebbi health workers and residents in the district.

Ebola is a highly contagious viral infection, which comes with high fever and bleeding tendencies.

The symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headache, red eyes, bleeding from openings and measles-like rash.

It spreads fast when one gets in contact with body fluids of an infected person.

Meanwhile, Jakor appealed to the people in the district to be on alert and report any person showing signs and symptoms of Ebola to the nearest health center.

"We need to be on the lookout because most of businessmen dealing in local Waragi go to Kibaale. Therefore, Ebola is not far from us," he cautioned.

Apparently all the suspected Ebola cases in the country handled by the health workers have all turned out to be negative after its outbreak was reported in Kibaale and that it had claimed18 lives.

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