Let Ugandans Know about Ebola Disease.It is Killing people in Luwero

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Dear All,

As you may have heard there is an Ebola outbreak in Luwero District (Yes, one confirmed case of Ebola is enough for it to qualify as an epidemic). People who came in close contact with this 12 years old girl who died of Ebola are being followed up (for up to three weeks) and the Ministry of Health is sending a task force to Luweero. The aim of this task force is to increase epidemic preparedness and emergence response to the epidemic.

So far Plan response in Luwero has been agreed upon and communicated to the Luweero team.

Attached below is a brief on the key facts about Ebola. Please keep alert but do not panic:

EBOLA FEVER

The Ebola is a disease caused by a virus and is characterized by: sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pains, headache, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhoea and both internal and external bleeding. Note that sudden onset of fever associated with bleeding from the mouth, anus, and in urine are the defining features
Transmission: Normally found within the wild animals (especially monkeys) but can be transmitted to the human being who gets into contact with an infected animal. Once in the human being transmission is from person to person through direct contact with the blood, urine, vomit, stools, or other body fluids of infected persons.
Drivers of the epidemic:

• Burial ceremonies where mourners have direct contact with the body of the deceased person can play a significant role in the transmission of Ebola.
• Health care workers have frequently been infected while treating Ebola patients, through close contact without correct infection control precautions
Incubation period: Two to 21 days
Diagnosis: Confirmation is by laboratory testing at the reference laboratory at the Uganda Virus research Institute.
Treatment and vaccine

There is no specific treatment or vaccine is yet available for Ebola. Urgently seek care from a qualified health facility where supportive care in form of intravenous fluids or oral re-hydration solutions, blood transfusions, and other necessary life support can be provided.

Recommended actions to contain the epidemic and the key actors

• Suspected cases should be isolated from other patients and strict barrier nursing techniques implemented (Health facility )
• Disinfection with JIK of the soiled clothing or bed linens from a patient with Ebola is required before handling these items (Health facility and Community).
• Strict surveillance- tracing and following up people who may have come in close contact with Ebola patients are essential (Ministry of Health).
• Hospital staff should be briefed on the nature of the disease and its transmission routes ( Ministry of Health)
• Communities affected by Ebola should make efforts to ensure that the population is well informed, both about the nature of the disease itself and about necessary outbreak containment measures, including burial of the deceased (Ministry of Health, Health facility staff, NGOs).
• People who have died from Ebola should be promptly and safely buried (Community).

Regards

Charles Luwaga
Country Health Advisor
Plan Uganda
P.O.Box 12075 , Plot 126, Luthuli Avenue ,
Bugolobi, Kampala
Uganda
Tel: +256-41-305000 Fax:+256-41-505005
Direct: 256-41-305145 Mobile : 256-772360365
http://www.plan-international.org

Plan is an international humanitarian, child centred development organisation without religious, political or governmental affiliation. Child sponsorship is the basic foundation of the organisation.

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