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Uganda refutes reports of Ebola outbreak

Xinhua, August 1, 2014 Adjust font size:

The Ugandan government on Thursday said there was no outbreak of the deadly Ebola hemorrhagic fever in the country after the suspected cases were confirmed to be negative.

Ruhakana Rugunda, minister of health, told reporters that laboratory results from the suspected cases turned out negative.

"There is no confirmed case of Ebola in Uganda. Media reports of reported cases in Kitgum and Kampala districts are false," he said, adding that any reported case will be investigated promptly and the public will be informed.

Three countries in West Africa, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leon have for the last four months been devastated by an outbreak of Ebola.

Latest figure from the World Health Organization (WHO) showed that there were more than 1,000 registered cases, including 729 deaths.

Rugunda said the country was on high alert after a reported unconfirmed Ebola case in neighboring Kenya.

He said government has reinstated the country's National Task Force on Epidemics and Disease Surveillance to watch out on any Ebola alerts throughout the country.

He said the ministry has set up a screening desk at the country's Entebbe International Airport to check travelers who have a travel history to West Africa in the last 21 days before coming to Uganda. The disease incubates in 21 days.

"All districts have been directed to be vigilant and look out for suspected cases and alerts for immediate action," Rugunda said.

He said the country has stocked enough drugs in case of any outbreak. The ministry has also assembled a team of experts to be on standby to be deployed in areas where suspected cases are reported.

The ministry also advised the public to limit their travels to any of the affected countries in West Africa until the situation is contained.

"The ministry calls upon the public to stay calm as all possible measures are being undertaken to keep the country safe from the epidemic," Rugunda said.

Ebola last broke out in Uganda in 2012, leaving over 20 people dead.

The disease is a highly infectious and presents with symptoms like fever, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headache, measles- like rash, red eyes, and sometimes with bleeding from body openings.

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