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11 Aug 2017

Tension as 3 Women Suffer Ebola-like Viral Hemorrhagic Fever

Some Ugandan women have suffered what appears to be Ebola-like fever, putting the East-African nation on high alert.
File copy: Ebola team visiting. Photo: WHO
The East-African nation of Uganda is now on high alert as the ministry of health is investigating and monitoring three suspected cases of the deadly Viral Hemorrhagic Fever in the central district of Luwero, a top official said on Friday.

NAN reports that Anthony Mbonye, the acting director-general of health services in a statement said that three women are being monitored for suspected deadly Ebola, Marburg, Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever, Rift Valley Fever and Sosuga viruses at Asili Hospital in Luwero.

“There are currently three female cases admitted at Bishop Asili Hospital, Luweero and are under observation,” said Mbonye.

“The Ministry of Health team is working closely with the District Health Team to monitor, review and manage these cases as well as orienting health workers on management and referral protocols of suspected cases,” he said.

The VHFs are a group of illnesses caused by four families of viruses, including the Ebola and Marburg, Lassa fever and yellow fever viruses.

Mbonye said the laboratory results for an earlier suspected VHF case that died in Luwero turned out negative.

The suspect, a 20-year-old female, presented with high fever, dizziness and blood secretions from her ears and mouth.

“Results from the Uganda Virus Research Institute indicate that all cases were negative for Ebola, Marburg, Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever, Rift Valley Fever and Sosuga viruses,” said Mbonye.

“The Post Mortem reports indicate high levels of carboxyhemoglobin (due to carbon monoxide poisoning) that led to the death of the suspected case,” he said

Ebola and Marburg virus last broke out in the East African country in 2012. Ebola left over 20 people dead while Marburg killed at least nine people.

The Ebola virus is highly contagious and causes a range of symptoms including fever, vomiting, diarrhea, generalized pain or malaise and in many cases internal and external bleeding.

Mortality rates of Ebola fever, according to the WHO, are extremely high, with the human case fatality rate ranging from 50 per cent to 89 per cent, depending on viral subtype.

According to the WHO, Marburg is a severe and highly fatal disease caused by a virus from the same family as the one that causes Ebola hemorrhagic fever.

According to the global health body, the illness caused by Marburg virus begins abruptly, with severe headache and malaise.

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