Govt probes Ebola spread

By Vision Reporter

THE Ministry of Health has instituted an investigation into the spread of Ebola among health workers in Gulu and Masindi as their death toll rose to 15.

By Charles Wendo THE Ministry of Health has instituted an investigation into the spread of Ebola among health workers in Gulu and Masindi as their death toll rose to 15. Assistant commissioner for national disease control Dr. Alex Opio said the investigation would also cover the persistence of the disease in the two districts. Briefing the press at the ministry headquarters in Wandegeya yesterday, Opio said some of the fallen health workers were not working in the Ebola wards. "I cannot say the health workers got infected because of reasons a, b, c. We are investigating it like we are investigating why people are still getting infected in the communities," he said. A total of 26 health workers have contracted the virus in Gulu and Masindi, according to the health ministry records. Fifteen of them, including 12 nurses, a doctor, a medical assistant and an ambulance driver, have died. Four have been discharged while seven are still undergoing treatment, three in Masindi and four in Gulu. The overall death toll has risen to 160 after two patients in Gulu and two in Masindi died since Tuesday. Seven new cases in Gulu and none in Masindi have been confirmed since Tuesday, raising the overall number of people who have suffered from Ebola to 406. Opio said blood samples from suspected Ebola patients in Jinja had been submitted to Gulu for testing. He said they were unlikely to be Ebola. The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is in the meantime flying to Atlanta with a piece of skin snipped from a man suspected to have died of Ebola in Rwanda. The skin snip had to be taken to America because the facilities in the CDC mobile laboratory in Gulu can only test blood. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has rushed in to calm Masindi residents who were threatening the Masindi LC5 and Ebola task force chairman, John Majara, with death. The residents accuse Majara of importing Ebola by transporting the patients from the outbreak area in Kaduku, Kigumba sub-county, to Masindi Hospital over 50 kilometres away, leaving Kiryandongo hospital near Kaduku. But Opio said Majara as not solely responsible for the decision. Ends.

Govt probes Ebola spread