Terrified patients flee hospitals in wake of Ebola outbreak

July 30, 2012UGANDA - Terrified patients fled from a hospital in western Uganda as soon as news broke that a mysterious illness that killed at least 14 people in the region was Ebola, one of the world’s most virulent diseases. Ignatius Besisira, a member of parliament for Buyaga East County in the Kibaale district, said people had at first believed the unexplained deaths were related to witchcraft. “Immediately, when there was confirmation that it was Ebola . . . patients ran out of Kagadi hospital where some of the victims had died,” he said. “Even the medical officers are very, very frightened.” Government officials and a World Health Organisation representative confirmed the Ebola outbreak at a news conference in Kampala on Saturday. “Laboratory investigations done at the Uganda Virus Research Institute . . . have confirmed that the strange disease reported in Kibaale is indeed Ebola haemorrhagic fever,” they said in a joint statement. Health officials said at least 20 people had been infected and of those 14 had died. 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 per cent of those who contract the virus. It has a devastating history in Uganda, where in 2000 at least 425 people were infected, of whom more than half died. Ebola was previously reported in the country in May last year, when it killed a 12-year-old girl. During an outbreak in 2007, which claimed at least 37 lives, Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni advised people not to shake hands and public gatherings were also discouraged. One of those who succumbed to the outbreak in Kibaale was a clinical officer, Mr Besisira said. The other fatalities came from a single household in Nyamarunda subdistrict, he added. Joaquim Saweka, WHO’s representative in Uganda, said the suspected infections emerged in the region in early July but the confirmation came only on Friday. –Irish Times 
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9 Responses to Terrified patients flee hospitals in wake of Ebola outbreak

  1. Irene C says:

    Don’t blame them. I would be terrified too.

  2. Bill K says:

    Yep that is scary stuff.

  3. m c says:

    This is some serious stuff right there I hope they get it under control…again.

    I’d hate to see that spread global.

    • shriram says:

      nothing is in your control, the only way to stop such viruses is to search the origin of them and then only you can decide what to do.

  4. Korheg says:

    Scary stuff… If this were to get out of Africa it could indeed fulfill the prophecy that 1/3rd of the worlds population is wiped out. If everyone were to get it, we would lose more than 3/4 of the people…

    Freaky.

  5. Emanni says:

    Deadly ebola outbreak in Ugandan capital
    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/uganda-bans-physical-contact-ebola-reaches-capital-112905767.html

    Uganda’s president on Monday warned against shaking hands and other physical contact after the first death from the deadly Ebola virus in the capital Kampala.

    “The Ministry of Health are tracing all the people who have had contact with the victims,” Yoweri Museveni said in a state broadcast, adding that 14 people had died in total since Ebola broke out in western Uganda three weeks ago.

  6. Emanni says:

    Outbreak of Ebola virus in Uganda – quarantine near impossible
    http://thewatchers.adorraeli.com/2012/07/31/outbreak-ebola-virus-uganda-quarantine-near-impossible/

    The Ugandan Government has created an emergency task force to deal with an outbreak of the Ebola virus. Dozens of terrified patients have fled hospitals afraid of contracting the disease, making quarantine near-impossible.

  7. NONE says:

    In a region where a census is nearly impossible (infrequent, inconsistent), and where tradition and religion still allow for the concepts as witchcraft before science, in terms of physical illness, we should be thankful for scattered populations, low density populations, and infrequent travel to these regions, or we would all be doomed.

  8. Emanni says:

    Ebola outbreak: Hotlines out
    http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/633609-ebola-outbreak-hotlines-out.html

    Hotlines have been created for all people to call, in case they suspect anyone to be infected with the disease.
    Ebola surveillance teams can be reached on 0774 451762, 0706 506294, and 0757 174556.

    More patients Tuesday were admitted at the isolation ward in Kagadi hospital in Kibaale district, according to reports from health officers.

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