The situation: According to the Ministry of Health of Uganda, the first case of Ebola was reported in Kagadi hospital on July 7, 2012 and since then, there have been 27 confirmed cases in total, the last two new cases within the last 48 hours. As of this morning (July 30th, 2012), there are 7 patients currently admitted within the isolation facility of Kagadi Hospital, 5 of which are new admissions, all with epidemiological linkages to previous probable cases/deaths. So far, there has been 14 deaths (9 from the same family where the index case so far seems to have come from).
There are fears that the disease may have spread beyond Kibaale District. A patient who escaped the isolation ward two days ago has been retrieved and re-admitted. Also according to the same ministry, 7 samples have been collected (4 from new cases and 3 from convalescent cases) and have been shipped to the national laboratory at Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe. One of the confirmed cases died in Mulago Hospital, prompting follow-up of all the health workers and other people who came into contact with that particular patient – none of them has so far come up with the disease.
The symptoms presented by people affected by this particular outbreak of Ebola are somewhat different from those of the past (for example, there was no haemorrhage in most cases), which made some people to think initially that the outbreak was cholera, another disease that is also currently quite active in the area.
There is an urgent need for communication/social mobilization capacity to strengthen public information and social mobilization. At the moment, follow-up is still not adequate. There is a serious need for an adequate surveillance mechanism and resources, which could allow for a proper follow-up of all the contact cases for 21 days. The extent of the epidemic is still unknown, therefore the epidemic is not contained. There is a high demand of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and medical supplies – demands that currently are being met; yet additional stock may be required.