Ebola outbreaks claims doctors in Uganda

Published: Monday 31 December 2007

Two Ugandan doctors who had been helping in the fight against an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus have died, bringing the death toll to 21, Ugandan health officials said on December 5.

The doctors were working in Bundibugyo district--the epicentre of the outbreak. On December 4, the government announced that it sent 400 packages of protective gear to the affected region to help ensure medical workers were adequately protected. Health officials, however, say a lack of appropriate equipment has already helped the virus spread.

The unicef has announced funds and medical equipment such as tents, plastic sheeting, drums of chlorine and emergency health kits in the outbreak areas to help health workers.

Meanwhile, the Atlanta Center for Disease Control, usa, and Ugandan health officials have confirmed that the virus is the fifth strain of Ebola. It has already infected 64 people in the rural areas of Bundibugyo. Authorities say efforts to isolate suspected patients have failed as many residents fear hospitals are unsafe.

The rare disease killed at least 170 people in northern Uganda in 2000, with specialists blaming poor sanitation and hygiene.

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