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Rift valley fever reported in Ankole, three dead

By Vision Reporter

Added 19th July 2018 11:32 AM

According to reports, the fever is spreading in the districts of Mbarara, Ibanda, Kirihura and Isingiro.

Drbarigyecelestinethehospitaldirectorwithdrrosemuhindoaddressingthemediainthehospitalboardroom 703x422

According to reports, the fever is spreading in the districts of Mbarara, Ibanda, Kirihura and Isingiro.

PIC: Dr Barigye Celestine,the hospital director with Dr Rose Muhindo addressing the media in the hospital board room.(Credit: Adolf Ayoreka)


By Adolf Ayoreka

MBARARA - An out break of rift valley fever and Crimean Congo fever has been reported in Ankole.

According to reports, the fever is spreading in the districts of Mbarara, Ibanda, Kirihura and Isingiro.

By press time, three people had been reported dead at Mbarara regional referral hospital.

According to Dr Rose Muhindo, a physician at Mbarara regional referral hospital for the past two weeks they have received  five patients who had symptoms of normal medical illness such as headache, chest pain, diarrhea and fever but what striked them was when they were presented with  breeding signs.

The patients were subjected to further tests which confirmed that they were suffering from the rift valley fever.

Muhindo said the first patient who was admitted was from Isingiro. The patient on arrival before they carried out any tests.

Another patient was from Nakivale settlement camp in Isingiro and the other two are from Ibanda and kiruhura.

“We have lost three patients, one was coughing blood and died on arrival, shortly after, we lost another one. However, we are still waiting for results to confirm what could have killed them.

"The good news is that we have managed to save the lives of two patients who will be discharged two days from now," Muhindo said.

Muhindo says this is a sporadic outbreak and the disease typically presents signs that specific and hemorrhagic which is caused by a virus transmitted by mosquitoes and blood feeding flies that usually affects animals commonly cattle and sheep but can also attack humans.

The Rift valley fever is in the category of hemorrhagic fevers like Marburg and Ebola.

Muhindo added that the disease ranges from a mild flu-like illness to severe haemorrhagic fever that can be lethal among humans. This comes when a person eats livestock which are infected.

“A patient first presents severe headache, vomiting, stomach pain and later breeding comes, it can be caused when a person is biten by a mosquito that fed from an infected livestock or eat meat from an infected livestock if not cooked to get ready.”

She adds that there is no human to human transmission of this disease unlike with Marburg and Ebola. “Our message from the medical team to the public is that they should avoid eating meat that is not well prepared and more so if the animals have died they should be  buried or burnt once we go a head and try to eat this meat that is how we shall get ourselves infected.

On the Crimean Congo Fever, Dr Muhindo said that they have not confirmed that disease however they are still waiting for the results from Uganda Virus Research Institute Entebbe.

“When we get a patient, we run very many tests and before we get the results its not inorder to report results that have not been confirmed, for rift  valley we have confirmed but for the Crimean Congo fever we have not yet got anything, but we are still waiting for the results from UVRI” Dr. Muhundo said.

She adds that they have the protective gears to handle the hemorrhagic fever because they have to handle them with care.

“We have gone a head to train our clinicians who receive the patients  and how they can identify the patient who is suspected to be with the fever because its natural people fear bleeding patients so they have to inform us and we are ready to do our work.”

Dr. Barigye Celestine, the hospital director at Mbarara regional referral hospital also echoed the same and asked the veterinary officers to help them in sensitising the public on the health complications that come with eating dead livestock.

Barigye further said that they have the capacity to treat these patients with hemorrhagic fever since they have managed to put them in an isolation centre and they are treating them.


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