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07 December 2007

Ebola claims 2 doctors in Uganda

The Ebola virus has killed two doctors in western Uganda, bringing the toll to 21 since the strain first appeared in September, an official said.

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The Ebola virus has killed two doctors in western Uganda, bringing the toll to 21 since the strain first appeared in September, an official said.

"The sad news is that our doctor who was admitted in Mulago died last night and a senior clinic officer who had been in critical condition died this morning," said Samuel Kazinga, district commissioner for Bundibugyo, the epicentre of the new outbreak.

Kampala's Mulago hospital is the largest in the country. Some health officials have said that a lack of appropriate equiment in Mulago and other hospitals has allowed the virus to spread.

The health ministry confirmed the latest fatalities caused by the virulent local strain of Ebola, which kills up to 90 percent of its victims, mostly by puncturing blood vessels and spurring non-stop hemorrhage.

Eight pathogen experts from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control (CDC) arrived in the country on Tuesday to help battle the disease that has infected at least 64 people in Uganda.

Efforts to isolate suspected patients in the rural district neighbouring the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), have failed as many residents fear hospitals are unsafe, authorities have said.

The rare disease, named after a small DRC river, killed at least 170 people in northern Uganda in 2000, with experts blaming poor sanitation and hygiene.

It was first discovered in the DRC in 1976, but other outbreaks have been recorded in Ivory Coast and Gabon. (Sapa-AFP)

Read more:
Deadly Ebola raging in DRC
New ebola strain kills 16 in Uganda

December 2007

 
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