By Anthony Bugembe
A Ugandan woman working at Amber House in Kampala has contracted the H1N1 virus, commonly referred to as swine flu, from a workmate. This, according to health experts, becomes the first case to be transmitted locally.
Unlike the previously confirmed cases which were imported from the UK, this one was spread from a locally confirmed case.
A fortnight ago, a Ugandan businesswoman returning from the UK was confirmed to have the virus.
Her 50-year-old husband and 20-year-old son were also confirmed as having been infected. The three were quarantined in their house in Mutungo near Kitintale.
Before they were quarantined, the husband went to work where a colleague got infected.
â€œShe complained of suspicious symptoms and last night we confirmed her positive,â€ said Sam Okware, the chairperson of the national Influenza A taskforce.
Okware said the woman has now been quarantined at her home in Seguku, on Entebbe Road and is undergoing treatment.
Her four-year-old and eight-month-old children have tested negative and have been separated from their mother, although still in the same house.
Uganda has so far confirmed six cases of the virus. Five of these are Ugandans while the fifth was a British national.
Meanwhile, authorities at Malaba border post in Tororo district have started screening all travellers entering the country. However, Mpimbaza Hashaka, the Tororo district swine flu taskforce chairperson, complained of lack of supplies.
He said yesterday that the health ministry has been promising to send facilitation, screening forms and (information) leaflets but nothing was forthcoming.
The main worry, he added, was that the virus is spreading faster in neighbouring Kenya and could get into the country via Malaba.