7 June 2017

Uganda: Ebola Ruled Out After Patient Tests Negative

Photo: Daily Monitor
Health workers assist a patient suspected of having Ebola.

Gulu/Kampala — The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Ministry of Health yesterday ruled out Ebola after blood samples from the suspected patient tested negative at the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI).

"The results for the sample from Lacor Hospital are negative for the Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers: Ebola, Marburg, CCHF, RVF and Sosuga," said Mr Innocent Komakech, WHO's officer in charge of Disease Outbreak, Emergency and Preparedness.

Mr Komakech added that WHO will keep in touch with Gulu District on preparedness and readiness to respond to such occurrences.

Dr Paul Onek, Gulu District health officer, described the negative Ebola test results as "good news" but added a caution.

"While this is good news, both health workers and the population should be on the alert," he said.

The blood samples from the patient were taken to UVRI in Entebbe last Saturday after the person at St Mary's Hospital Lacor developed symptoms similar to those of Ebola.

The patient was placed in an isolation section as the hospital awaited results from the virus research institute.

Dr Emmanuel Ochola, an epidemiologist at the hospital, said upon admission, the patient was diagnosed with severe sepsis, a life-threatening condition that leads to deranged blood coagulation that varies from mild alterations to severe Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC).

"Our first diagnosis was sepsis, but we needed to be very sure because it had turned out severe. The patient was bleeding a lot and we had to isolate her and take her blood sample to UVRI for confirmation whether it was Haemorrhagic fever or not," Dr Ochola said.

"We are still keeping the patient in isolation, but generally speaking, she is fine now," Dr Ochola said.

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