The government has allayed public fears about the spread of ebola in the country, saying a team of medical experts following up the deadly disease in Kagera region has cleared a patient suspected to have contracted the deadly virus as safe.
An official statement availed to media outlets yesterday by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare said, following reports of the disease outbreak in the neighbouring Uganda, the government sent experts to border regions to monitor the situation.
It explained that while on the field in Kagera, the experts took samples from a patient claimed to have contracted the disease, who apparently was admitted to Nyakage Hospital in Karagwe district.
However, the statement said, after diagnosis, the experts concluded that the patient didn’t have ebola.
“We want to assure the public that after thorough diagnosis of the samples taken, the experts concluded that the patient was not suffering from the disease. We therefore don’t have any ebola case in the country,” said the statement.
The ministry said the patient had symptoms of severe fever, slack, nose breading, vomiting blood and urinating blood, which are similar to those found on those suffering from ebola, that’s why experts dealt with the case urgently.
Meanwhile, the statement said the government, through the ministry, was ready to deal with the ebola disease, in case it strikes.
It said already teams of experts have been dispatched to other border regions, namely Mara, Mwanza, Kagera, Kigoma, Kilimanjaro and Arusha for awareness raising on the disease.
The ebola virus was first associated with an outbreak of 318 cases of a hemorrhagic disease in the former Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) in 1976, where of the 318 cases, 280 of them died. In the same year, 284 people in Sudan also became infected with the virus and 156 died.
The viruses that cause ebola and marburg are similar, infecting both monkeys and people. The outbreaks of these diseases are often self-contained, however, because they kill their hosts so quickly that they rapidly run out of people to infect.
Already several people have died in the neighouring Uganda creating fear of outbreak of the disease in its neighbours.
President Yoweri Museveni last week confirmed that ebola, one of the world's most virulent diseases, has reached Kampala for the first time following an outbreak in the west of the country.