Officials in Uganda said Sunday that the rumors of Ebola infection emerging in the country’s central region are not true, and that a fatality last week at Mubende Regional Referral Hospital was from a different kind of infection.
Minister of Health Sarah Opendi released a statement explaining that a 35-year-old man who died was diagnosed with Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), which has been the focus of health officials since January as they deal with an ongoing CCHF outbreak in the Luwero and Nakaseke districts.
Those districts share a border with the Mubende region, Opendi said, while stressing that the illness is serious but it is not Ebola.
“Human transmission may occur when human beings get into contact with infected ticks (through tick bites) or direct contact with blood or tissues of an infected animal,” she said, adding that CCHF can then be passed to other humans through body fluid contacts. “In Uganda, the risk of acquiring and spread of CCHF is high among communities within the cattle corridor.”
Uganda continues to be vigilant about Ebola, and began screening passengers from the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo at its Entebbe airport two weeks ago.
The World Health Organization said in its Friday update that another person in Bikoro has died in the Congolese outbreak but it remains contained to three health zones initially affected. In Bikoro, there have been 23 confirmed cases and 16 deaths; in Iboko, there are 24 cases with three fatalities; and in Wangata, there are three deaths with five cases reported.
Image: Uganda Ministry of Health