The Ministry of Health (MOH) and World Health Organization (WHO) have put 24 districts located mainly along the common border between Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on high Ebola alert ahead of the festive season.
In a joint statement released today, despite absence of Ebola virus outbreak, Uganda remains on high alert to ensure there is no importation of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) into the country. The risk according to the statement is due its close proximity to DRC where the outbreak is still ongoing.
The Districts of Ntoroko, Kasese, Kabarole, Bundibujo, Bunyangabu, Kanungu, Kisoro, Rukungiri, Rubirizi, Kikuube, Hoima, Kampala, Wakiso, Arua, Maracha, Nebbi, Zombo, Yumbe, Moyo, Adjumani, Koboko, Lamwo, Kabale, Kamwenge, Kyegegwa, Kyenjojo, Isingiro, Kagadi and Pakwach are requested to observe utmost vigilance during the festive season.
The public is advised to avoid handshaking, hugging, mass gatherings and observe infection, prevention and control practices such as washing hands with soap both at health facilities and in communities.
Ugandans have been also advised to avoid contact with fruit bats or monkeys/apes or consumption of their meat, avoid contact with people with Ebola symptoms, and report promptly any person with Ebola like symptoms to the nearest health facility.
WHO and MOH requested the public not to panic because the Health ministry is prepared to control and contain Ebola should it cross to Uganda.
Ebola spreads from human-to-human contact via direct contact with blood, secretions, organs or bodily fluids of infected people. Ebola cases present with a sudden onset of fever, fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, body internal and external bleeding (eg. From the gums, blood in the stools).