August 16, 2013 (KAMPALA) - Uganda’s ministry of health on Friday confirmed the outbreak of the deadly Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever in the northern Uganda district of Agago.
‘‘Uganda’s virus research institute in Entebbe took sample from one person who tested positive,’’ Uganda’s state minister of health Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye said at a press conference in Kampala.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever causes severe fever outbreaks and has a fatality rate of up to 40%.
WHO says the disease is transmitted to humans from ticks and from human to human through coming into contact with blood, secretions and body fluids from affected persons.
The disease has no vaccine available for either humans or animals.
Initial reports in Uganda had said it was the deadly Ebola outbreak but this has been ruled out by health officials.
In the last decade Uganda has reported two outbreaks of the deadly Ebola disease. In 2000, the disease killed 224 people in northern Uganda. More recently in 2012, it killed 17 people in western Uganda.
Health services in Uganda are severely underfunded and understaffed with leading referral hospitals lacking basic medical supplies.
The ministry advised people to avoid close physical contact with animals and suspected infected people.