Deadly Ebola virus claims more lives in Uganda
Published: 01 August, 2012, 18:23
Ugandan authorities are struggling to contain an outbreak of Ebola in the western provinces of the country. Suspected cases are refusing treatment, fearing they may get infected with the virus in hospital if they don’t already have it.
Officials say four more people suspected of being infected with the virus have died in the towns of Kadagi and Mulago. If these cases are confirmed, it will bring the number of victims of the deadly virus to 18.
“Accumulatively to date, there are 36 suspected or confirmed cases,” says the World Health Organisation’s Gregory Hartl.
Hartl said medical officers have begun contact tracing, where everyone who has been infected, or is suspected of being infected with Ebola, as well as everyone they have been in contact with, are being placed under quarantine for 21 days.
But medics are facing difficulties when it comes to containing the spread of the disease.
Many of those suspected of being infected refuse to go to hospital fearing they will contract the virus in clinics.
In Kibaale district, poor hospital conditions have apparently forced suspected Ebola patients to break out of isolation wards protesting their treatment.
In a statement released on Monday, the Ugandan health ministry said some people refused to seek treatment “because they believed that the cause of the illness was due to ‘evil spirits’”.