A TOTAL of 75 people have contracted swine flu in central and western Uganda since July this year. Laboratory tests show that 37 of the cases were in schools.
Laboratory tests show that 37 of the cases were in schools.
The first swine flu victim in the country was a British visitor who tested positive on July 1. Since then, four schools have been hit by the virus, with a dramatic escalation since mid-August.
â€œThis disease is now locally spreading in communities and is likely to continue,â€ health state minister James Kakooza warned.
Kakooza, who was addressing journalists at the Kampala Media Centre, however, explained that â€œthe disease is mild and in most cases, is just like ordinary seasonal flu.â€
No one has died of swine flu in Uganda, although hundreds have perished from it across the globe.
The health ministry said five pupils of Early Learning Centre primary school in Entebbe contracted swine flu this week. Two other schools, one in Luweero and the other in Mukono, were affected earlier.
The first cases in schools were reported in Kitabi Seminary SS (Bushenyi), Nyakasura SS (Kabarole) and lately in Ndejje SS (Luweero).
Yesterday, the Government revoked one of its orders to all schools to restrict visitors. However, it maintained a ban on inter-school activities.
It also said students may not go home before the term ends.
Boarding schools were also ordered to avoid double-decker beds and keep the recommended 0.6m-spacing between beds.
The assistant commissioner for health education, Paul Kaggwa, assured the public that â€œthe situation will be containedâ€.
The Government still has 38,000 doses of Tamflu drugs to treat swine flu. A massive sensitisation campaign is going on across the country.
The Director General of Health Services, Dr. Sam Zaramba, allayed fears that Muslims might be barred from the pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.
â€œThe Government, the World Health Organisation and the Saudi Arabian government are in talks on how to handle the pilgrimage safely,â€ he explained.
In a related development, Luweero district and the surrounding areas have been put on alert, days after students in one of its schools contracted swine flu.
Swine flu cases now at Seventy-five