Fear of ebola ‘twisting people’s lives’ in Uganda after 12 more victims isolated
Residents in western Uganda said yesterday they are too scared to go shopping in local markets, visit churches or mosques or travel freely for fear of catching the ebola virus which has already killed 16 people.
Thirty people are in an isolation ward at a hospital in Kibaale district, where the outbreak started, after 12 new cases were reported. A total of 232 people suspected to have had contact with ebola victims were also being monitored.
Health officials are hopeful there will be no repeat of the severity of the ebola outbreak in Uganda in 2000, when 425 people were infected by the virus, more than half of whom died. There was no new deaths yesterday, health workers said, but residents were finding it hard to cope with the preventive measures. President Yoweri Museveni has advised people to avoid shaking hands, casual sex and do-it-yourself burials.
There is no treatment for ebola, which is transmitted by close contact and body fluids such as saliva, vomit, faeces, sweat, semen and blood. However, doctors can treat opportunistic diseases and symptoms affecting patients including diarrhoea, vomiting and malaria, and some patients can survive.
“Fears of catching ebola have twisted people’s lives,” Tumusiime Jamilo, a reporter at a local radio station said. “They can’t go to the markets to buy things, [others can’t] sell their products and that’s hitting their pockets.”
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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