Health experts found that the piglet that died had its liver change colour
Chrizestom Semate leads his family out of the isolation unit at Kagadi Hospital. Photo by Ismael Kasooha
The 6 people who have been admitted at the isolation unit in Kagadi Hospital have been discharged as investigations into the strange disease continue.
The acting district health officer Kagadi Dr. James Olowo told New Vision that after the patients tested negative to all the haemorrhagic viral fevers and anthrax, they had to be discharged but will be monitored for some time.
“We have discharged them but investigations and monitoring continues so that we establish the cause of the strange disease that killed 3 family members,” said Olowo.
The six people who have been in the isolation unit have been identified as Chrizestom Semate, 64, the family head, Steven Asiimwe, 20, Anatoli Alinda, 18, Florence Katusabe, 14, Julius Abigaba, 13 and Christopher Munyantware, 45, all residents of Kiseegu village Kiryanga sub county Kagadi district.
Semate as soon as he had reached home thanked government and the health workers who worked tirelessly to save his life and his children.
“Although I lost 3 people in my home, I’m very grateful to the government and health workers who risked and treated me and my children and we are now feeling fine” said Semate.
He said that after the death of his wife and two children he did not have hope that they would survive.
Semate and his children have spent over one week in the isolation unit at Kagadi hospital being treated and monitored.
He said that they have been fed very well and the treatment was done from time to time to save their lives.
The team from the health ministry is led by Dr. Immaculate Nabukenya the acting assistant commissioner, veterinary public health in the Ministry of Health.
Centres for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) also joined the surveillance experts from the Ministry to investigate the strange disease.
Dr. Olowo said that several samples have been picked from the survivors and the remains of the piglet that was eaten such as intestines and the soils where it was slaughtered from to help in investigations.
“We are sure that the cause of the death shall be established because we have picked several samples that will help the team in investigations,” said Olowo.
Addressing residents of Kiseegu village in Kiryanga Sub County on Thursday, the Kagadi district vice chairman and secretary for health John Alibankoha warned the residents against eating animals that are found dead because such diseases could easily be transmitted to humans.
“When an animal dies please don’t risk eating its meat because you don’t know what caused its death” said Alibankoha.
He asked people to increase on their household incomes so that they can access meet frequently to avoid eating dead animals and chicken which end up becoming costly to the family and nation.
Health experts found that the piglet that died had its liver change colour.
Evasi Mugabirwe the owner of the piglets said that she was called to also take pork from the dead piglet but found the liver had turned black and the pork was brownish and decided not to eat because of suspicion.
“I was called to also share the pork because the piglet belonged to me but had given two piglets out for them to raise and we would share later when they start producing,” said Mugabirwe.
The other piglet that was living with the dead one is still alive which rules out swine fever.
The signs and symptoms presented by the people who ate the piglet included stomach ache, fever, headache and diarrhoea which are associated with food poisoning according experts.
But no conclusion has been made yet and a team of experts is still on the ground to investigate the exact cause of the mysterious deaths.