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Ebola kills fourth health worker in Uganda

The Sudan Ebola virus has claimed the life of another health worker in Uganda, The PUNCH reports.Uganda’s Health Minister, Jane Aceng, announced the passing on of Ms Margaret Nabisubi on Wednesday morning.

Nabisubi is the fourth health worker to die of the virus since the outbreak in September.

“I regret to announce the passing of another health worker, Ms. Nabisubi Margaret, an anesthetic officer. The 58-year-old succumbed to Ebola at 4:33am this morning at Fort Portal Hospital (JMedic) after battling the disease for 17 days.“

The late Margaret is the 4th health worker we have lost in the current Ebola outbreak after the probable case of the midwife, Dr. Ali, and the health assistant in Kagadi District.

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“May their souls rest in eternal peace,” Aceng announced on her official Twitter account, @JaneRuth_Aceng.

On September 20, 2022, Uganda health authorities declared an outbreak of Ebola disease, caused by Sudan virus, following laboratory confirmation of a patient from a village in Madudu sub-county, Mubende district, central Uganda.

The case was a 24-year-old male who developed a wide range of symptoms on September 11. He was then referred to the Regional Referral Hospital on September 15, where he was isolated as a suspected case of viral haemorrhagic fever. A blood sample was collected on September 17 and sent to the Uganda Virus Research Institute in Kampala where RT- PCR tests conducted were positive for SUDV on September 19. On the same day, the patient died.According to the World Health Organisation, Sudan virus disease is a severe, often fatal illness affecting humans. Sudan virus was first reported in southern Sudan in June 1976. Since then, the virus has emerged periodically and up to now, seven outbreaks caused by the SUDV have been reported, four in Uganda and three in Sudan. The estimated case fatality ratios of SVD have varied from 41 per cent to 100 per cent in past outbreaks.

“The virus then spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with either blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from SVD or objects that have been contaminated with body fluids (like blood, faeces, vomit) from a person sick with SVD or the body of a person who died from SVD.

“The incubation period ranges from 2 to 21 days. People infected with Sudan virus cannot spread the disease until they develop symptoms, and they remain infectious as long as their blood contains the virus.

Symptoms of SVD can be sudden and include fever, fatigue, muscle pain, headache, and sore throat later followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function. In some cases, the patient might present both internal and external bleeding (for example, bleeding from the gums, or blood in the stools).

“The diagnosis of SVD can be difficult, as early nonspecific manifestation of the disease may mimic other infectious diseases such as malaria, typhoid fever and meningitis. Confirmation is made using numerous diagnostic methods including RT-PCR. Supportive care – rehydration with oral or intravenous fluids – and treatment of specific symptoms improve survival.“

There are no licensed vaccines or therapeutics for the prevention and treatment of Sudan virus disease,” the World Health Organisation said.

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