Two Doctors Succumb To Ugandan Ebola Crisis

by Medindia Content Team on  December 7, 2007 at 6:32 PM Tropical Disease News   - G J E 4
The Ebola virus has killed two doctors in western Uganda, bringing the death toll to 21 of the 91 people infected since the strain first appeared in September, an official said on Wednesday.
Two Doctors Succumb To Ugandan Ebola Crisis
Two Doctors Succumb To Ugandan Ebola Crisis

"The sad news is that our doctor who was admitted in Mulago died last night and a senior clinic officer who had been in critical condition died this morning," said Samuel Kazinga, district commissioner for Bundibugyo, the epicentre of the new outbreak.

Kampala's Mulago hospital is the largest in the country. Some health officials have said that a lack of appropriate equipment in Mulago and other hospitals has allowed the virus to spread.

Ebola has infected 91 people so far, the health ministry announced in a statement.

Of those still alive, 36 remain in health centres in Bundibugyo and Kyikyo area, the statement said.

The health ministry confirmed the latest fatalities caused by the virulent local strain of Ebola, which kills up to 90 percent of its victims, mostly by puncturing blood vessels and triggering non-stop hemorrhage.

Eight pathogen experts from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control (CDC) arrived in the country on Tuesday to help battle the mysterious strain with scant history.

Efforts to isolate suspected patients in the rural district neighbouring the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have failed as many residents fear hospitals are unsafe, authorities have said.

Effectively, this has scuppered efforts to compile exact figures, officials said.

The rare disease, named after a small DRC river, killed at least 170 people in northern Uganda in 2000, with experts blaming poor sanitation and hygiene.

It was first discovered in the DRC in 1976, but other outbreaks have been recorded in Ivory Coast and Gabon.

At the same time the government had deployed health officials to the country's northwestern and northern region to deal with fears of extremely contagious cholera, plague, menengitis and hepatitis outbreaks.

Source: AFP

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