Date: Fri 24 May 2019
Source: Daily Monitor [edited]
On Thursday [23 May 2019], 2 children died of a strange disease which presented symptoms similar to those of the Ebola virus [infection]. The victims of the strange disease are a 10-year-old girl and a boy who was 9 months old. They were children of a man, a resident of Kikonda village in Kiryanga Sub-county, Kagadi District. They were passing blood from the mouth and the nose, which symptoms are similar to those caused by the Ebola virus [infection]. Their death has caused fear among residents in a district that was hit by an outbreak of Ebola [virus disease] in 2012.
The Kagadi Ebola Task Force led by District Surveillance Officer Mr Selevano Thembo, went to the area to investigate the matter. Wearing protective clothes, the team carried out the burial as one of the precautionary procedures in cases of suspected contagious diseases. "When people see blood coming out of their sick relatives, they tend to take it as a serious disease, and our team went to investigate,'' Mr Thembo said.
He said that they got blood samples from the bodies, which will be taken to the Uganda Virus Research Institute for analysis. "Our district is at risk because of the outbreak of the Ebola disease in DR Congo," Mr Thembo said. Diseases which present with signs and symptoms similar to those of Ebola include; Rift Valley fever (RVF), Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) and Marburg fever. In 2018, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever outbreak was confirmed in neighbouring Kakumiro District in Nkooko Sub-county. It claimed one person.
In late April 2019, the Ministry of Health gave Shs146 million [USD 39 000] to Kagadi District for Ebola preparedness activities. The activities include coordinating preparedness activities, strengthening surveillance, capacity building in contact tracing, laboratory diagnostics, infection prevention and control, clinical management of patients including psycho-social care. Other activities include safe and dignified burials, enhanced risk communication and community engagement, and cross-border surveillance are also part of the activities.
Kagadi is among the 22 high risk districts due to the cross-border movements between Ugandans and DR Congo citizens.
The district shares a border with DR Congo, where the disease has claimed more than 1000 people in North Kivu province.
[Unfortunately, this above report does not provide information sufficient to confirm Ebola virus infections or other possible pathogens such as cases of Marburg, Rift Valley fever, yellow fever and Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus infections, all of which have occurred in Uganda in the past. One hopes that samples that were taken from the 2 unfortunate cases will be tested promptly in the laboratory. Since Ebola virus is suspected, it seems possible but unlikely that it is the result of spill-over from the outbreak going on in northeastern DR Congo. Kagadi district is approximately 50 km (31 miles) directly east of the DR Congo border across Lake Albert but approximately 140 km (87 miles) distant by road.
ProMED-mail would appreciate receiving any additional information about these cases, including additional symptoms, autopsy findings and other clinical signs, as well as laboratory results. - ProMED Mod.TY]
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