Ebola Virus Breaks Out in Uganda, Kills 14

Speculations as to the cause of a strange disease that had many people fleeing their homes in Uganda have finally been brought to an unfavorable conclusion. Uganda health officials have reported that the cause of the disease is the Ebola virus. The officials and a World Health Organization (WHO) representative told a news conference in Kampala Saturday that there is “an outbreak of Ebola” in Uganda.

In their statement, they mentioned that “Laboratory investigations done at the Uganda Virus Research Institute…have confirmed that the strange disease reported in Kibaale is indeed Ebola hemorrhagic fever.” The 14 dead were among 20 reported with the disease. Two of the infected have been isolated for examination by researchers and health officials; a clinical officer and, days later, her 4-month-old baby died from the disease caused by the Ebola virus, the officials said.

The Ebola, which manifests itself as a hemorrhagic fever, is highly infectious and kills quickly. It was first reported in 1976 in Congo and is named for the river where it was recognized. The disease is “characterized by 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” says a Centre for Disease Control (CDC) factsheet on the virus.

There is yet no cure or vaccine for Ebola and the disease killed 224 people in Uganda in 2000, leaving even more traumatized then. This new outbreak resurrects terrible memories.

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  • Nigerian Immigration should be on the watch out for possible immigrants visiting Nigeria from Uganda to prevent the importation of this virus. May God help them and everyone of us.

  • CAMBRIDGE, MA–(Marketwire -07/19/12)- Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc. (SRPT), a developer of first-in-class RNA-based therapeutics, announced today that its lead therapeutic drug candidate for the Marburg virus, AVI-7288, demonstrated up to 100% survival in a non-human primate (NHP) study exploring the drug’s effect when treatment is delayed to various time points post-infection. The study demonstrated a significantly higher rate of survival among NHPs treated with AVI-7288 compared to the placebo-treated group when treatment was administered up to 96-hours post infection. Sarepta is conducting this work under a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) contract managed by the Joint Project Manager Transformational Medical Technologies (JPM-TMT) Project Management Office, a component of the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JPEO-CBD).
    “These results are unprecedented and demonstrate a compelling proof of concept with our PMOplus® chemistry platform and its ability to treat the most lethal and fast-acting viruses, without compromising efficacy of survival even after up to a four-day delay in the initiation of treatment,” said Chris Garabedian, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sarepta Therapeutics. “These results represent a significant advancement toward the protection of our service members and the civilian population in the event of a bioterrorist attack. Extending the window of opportunity for effective medical intervention against lethal infections may translate to more lives saved.”
    This study showed a high degree of survival between 83% and 100% in each of four post-exposure cohorts that received daily treatments with AVI-7288 beginning one-, 24-, 48-, or 96-hours after infection, compared to 0% survival in the placebo-treated control group. Currently at Day 27, the study will continue to monitor the surviving non-human primates until study termination at Day 41.
    The work is a collaborative effort between Sarepta and scientists at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), the DoD’s leading medical research laboratory for biological defense, which has the DoD’s only maximum containment, or Biosafety Level 4, capability.

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