Confirmed Case of Ebola Virus in Uganda July 28, 2012
Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens
U.S. Embassy Kampala, Uganda
Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens
Confirmed Case of Ebola Virus in Uganda
July 28, 2012
This Emergency Message is to alert U.S. citizens residing and traveling in Uganda of an outbreak of Ebola virus. On July 27, 2012, local Ugandan press reported 12 deaths due to a “strange illness.” Laboratory tests conducted by the Uganda Virus Research Institute and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have confirmed, to date, that at least one victim was infected with the Ebola virus (Sudan strain). The Ugandan Ministry of Health, U.S. CDC, and international partners are investigating the case to determine the extent of the outbreak and if additional cases are present. At this time, the cases appear to be centered in Nyamarunda Sub County, Kibaale district, although one suspected victim is reported to have traveled to Kampala for treatment at Mulago Hospital where he subsequently died on July 22, 2012.
Ebola is a deadly but preventable disease. The virus has the potential to spread from person to person, especially among health-care staff and family members who care for patients with Ebola Viral Hemorrhagic Fever. A person suffering from Ebola usually presents with sudden fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, and weakness, followed by diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. A rash, red eyes, hiccups and internal and external bleeding may be seen in some patients. Symptoms become increasingly severe and may include jaundice, severe weight loss, mental confusion, shock, and multi-organ failure. There is no standard treatment for Ebola HF. Patients receive supportive therapy.
The likelihood of contracting Ebola is considered extremely low unless there has been a direct contact with body fluids like saliva, urine, or blood of an infected person or animal or the body of someone who has died from the disease. Since the virus spreads through direct contact with blood and other body secretions of an infected person, people living with and caring for Ebola patients are at a higher risk of becoming infected.
The U.S. Mission in Kampala and the CDC office in Uganda recommend that U.S. citizens residing and traveling in Uganda avoid contact with people exhibiting the symptoms described above. To minimize the risk of contracting Ebola, avoid direct contact with body fluids (blood, saliva, vomit, urine, and stool). Practice good hygiene, such as washing hands carefully and thoroughly with soap and water, or with alcohol-based hand cleanser if soap and water are unavailable. Avoid communal washing of hands during funerals or other public gatherings. Avoid contact with dead animals, especially primates, and refrain from eating “bushmeat.”
The CDC has additional information on protecting yourself from Ebola viral hemorrhagic fever available at the following websites, and you are encouraged to read this information:
• Main resource page: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/spb/mnpages/dispages/ebola.htm
• Guidance for U.S. citizens living abroad: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/spb/mnpages/dispages/ebola/abroad.htm
• Additional information: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/spb/mnpages/dispages/ebola/qa.htm
The U.S. Embassy in Kampala encourages U.S. citizens to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) for the most up-to-date safety and security information. Keep all of your information in STEP up-to-date by maintaining your current phone numbers and email addresses where you can be reached in case of an emergency.
You can stay in touch and get updates by checking the U.S. Embassy Kampala website. You can also get global updates at the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs website, where you can find the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well, or you can download our free Smart Traveler IPhone App for travel information at your fingertips. Current information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States or a regular toll line at-1-202-501-4444 for callers from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
The U.S. Embassy is located at Plot 1577 Ggaba Road. Contact information for the U.S. Embassy in Kampala is: phone number +256 (0) (414) 306 001 or +256 (0) (414) 259 791, fax +256 (0) (414) 258 451, and email KampalaUSCitizen@state.gov.