Sunday, 23rd August, 2009

By Anne Mugisa and Raymond Baguma

BLOOD samples of the patient admitted in Mbale Hospital suspected of having Ebola have been found free of the virus, the Uganda Virus Research Institute has said.

The Ministry of Health spokesperson, Paul Kagwa, yesterday said the ministry was investigating other possible diseases the patient, whose name has been with held, might have.

“He is still in the hospital and he cannot be released until investigations are complete,” Kagwa said.

The man was admitted last week after he was referred from Tororo Hospital with suspected Ebola.

He bled from the mouth, nose, ears and passed blood in his stool and urine, which are all symptoms of the haemorrhagic fever.

On Friday, the director of clinical services, Dr. Kenya Mugisha, said not all bleeding is caused by Ebola.

A medical team was dispatched to Mbale to help handle the situation, Dr. Mugisha said.

He added that the patient was in a stable condition.

The patient’s relatives said he was first treated for malaria in Sudan where he worked as a casual labourer at a construction site.

Ebola has a high death rate. The only way to stop or contain it is through prevention, rapid diagnosis and isolation of suspected cases. The last outbreak of the disease was reported in Bundibugyo in 2007.

The disease killed 16 people out of the 51 cases that were reported.

In the 2000, an Ebola outbreak in Gulu claimed 173 people of the 428 people who were infected.


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