By Raymond Baguma
Ugandan health experts are monitoring neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo where suspected cases of Ebola have been reported.
Dr. Asuman Lukwago, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health said: “The suspected cases were in Aruu and other parts of northeastern Congo. We learnt Kinshasa was testing the samples.”
Although he could not provide how many suspected cases have been reported in DR Congo, Dr. Lukwago said Uganda has been on alert since the outbreak in West Africa.
“If Ebola is confirmed in Congo, we can send our team to work with the Congolese so that the disease is controlled from there,” added Lukwago.
Ebola is highly contagious, with a high fatality rate.
Its symptoms are fever, bleeding through body openings, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, headache, skin rash and red eyes.
At the moment, there is no known cure for Ebola. The disease can be spread through direct physical contact with body fluids like saliva, blood, stool, vomit, urine and sweat from an infected person as well as linen used by a patient. It can also be spread through skin piercing instruments used by an infected person.
A person can also get it by getting in touch with a dead body of a person who has died of the disease.
On Thursday, World Health Organisation reported that the death toll from in West Africa had risen to 603 in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The first case was reported in Liberia in February.
Also related to this story
Ebola: Gov't honours fallen doctor
Ebola: profile of a prolific killer
WHO urges 'drastic action' on Ebola, invites Uganda to 11-nation meeting
Psychologists join Ebola team
Ugandan doctor dies of Ebola in Liberia