Entries in Outbreak (6)


New Ebola Outbreak in Uganda

Hemera/Thinkstock(KAMPALA) – ABC News has learned of reports of a new Ebola outbreak in Uganda, not far from the capital of Kampala.

The country’s Ministry of Health released a statement Thursday morning, saying that two family members from the Luweero district were confirmed dead from the dangerous virus, and a third death is currently under investigation. A group of five people that have been in contact with the bodies is currently being monitored for any possible signs of the sickness.

The Ministry has also cited safety measures it is taking to contain the outbreak, including immediate isolation of suspected cases, taskforces already on the ground to assess the situation, and plans to create special facilities at local health centers and hospitals.

This is the second outbreak of Ebola to have occurred in Uganda this year. The first outbreak happened in July, where 17 people died before the virus was successfully contained.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


10 Dead from Ebola Outbreak in Congo

Hemera/Thinkstock(ISIRO, Congo) -- Doctors Without Borders is working to contain an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  

Ten people have died after contracting the disease, and another six people in the town of Isiro have been either confirmed or considered probable cases, BBC News reports. One person, according to South African newspaper The New Age, has made a full recovery.

Officials say this strain of the deadly disease is not related to the recent outbreak in neighboring Uganda, where 16 people died from a strain that now seems to have been contained.  

"The outbreak in Uganda and the one in DRC are not related," Olimpia de la Rosa, a Doctors Without Borders coordinator, told The New Age. "This strengthens the idea that the Ebola virus is transmitted by close contact, making it less likely to cross borders."

Ebola outbreaks occur periodically in central Africa, where the virus originated and was first detected in humans in 1976.

Symptoms of Ebola include sudden fever, weakness, headache, vomiting and kidney problems, BBC News reports. There is no vaccine to reduce risk of infection.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ebola Outbreak: Deadly Virus Spreads in Uganda 

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The president of Uganda is calling on people in the East African country to avoid physical contact, including handshaking and kissing, to prevent the spread of the deadly and highly contagious Ebola virus that is believed to have killed 14 people in the last few weeks.

The disease has no known cure or vaccine and some strains can kill up to 90 percent of victims within days. Ugandans are so fearful of the disease that residents in Kibaale province where the outbreak was reported said that people immediately fled the hospital after hearing patients with Ebola were there.

In a nationally televised speech today, President Yoweri Museveni said health officials are working to contain the disease to the rural district where the outbreak was confirmed Saturday, but at least one of the suspected victims was taken to a hospital in the capital city of Kampala.  Now, nearly two dozen medical workers at Mulago Hospital are being held in isolation.

“We have asked people in the whole country to be careful and aware of those who present with symptoms.  We have informed health facilities of the right way to respond,” said Dr. Anthony Mbonye at Uganda’s Ministry of Health.

Mbonye said no other patients at Mulago Hospital in Kampala are at risk, and he is optimistic the outbreak in the Kibaale district 125 miles west of the capital city can be contained soon.

“I have hope because since Friday we have not had any new suspected cases of Ebola,” he said.

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Mbonye said people are frightened because many illnesses that are common in the region, such as malaria, have the same symptoms as Ebola.  He said health officials have to balance the need to inform the public while not wanting to cause unnecessary panic. In Kibaale, schools are closed and social gatherings have been cancelled.

Experts from the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are in Uganda to advise health officials responding to the outbreak.

People infected with Ebola usually have flu-like symptoms at first.  They can then begin bleeding internally and externally as their vital organs shut down.

Ebola was named for the river near where it was first reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1976.  Scientists believe an Ebola outbreak usually begins when a human contracts the disease from an infected animal.

The CDC operates a laboratory in Uganda where a team of scientists is studying Ebola and other deadly viruses in Africa.  In the past couple of years, U.S. defense officials expressed concern that terrorists could try to use Ebola as a biological weapon.  The threat posed by Ebola and other little understood viral diseases has been dramatized by best-selling books such as “The Hot Point” and Hollywood movies like “Outbreak” and “Contagion.”

This is the third outbreak of Ebola in Uganda since 2000 when 224 people were killed.  At least 42 people were killed in another outbreak in 2007, and there was a single confirmed case in 2011.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Sprouts Are Cause of E. Coli Outbreak, Germany Says

Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(BERLIN) -- German health officials announced Friday that bean sprouts, as previously believed, are most likely to blame for the deadly E. coli outbreak that has affected the country.

"It's the sprouts," said Reinhard Burger, head of the Robert Koch Institute, Germany's center for disease control.

Speaking at a press conference, Burger added that "people who ate sprouts were nine times more likely to have bloody diarrhea than those who did not."

Over two dozen people have died from the outbreak and thousands more have fallen ill.  People from 12 countries have been infected and it's believed all had passed through northern Germany, where officials had issued a warning not to consume sprouts of any kind.

That warning still stands, according to Burger, who warned that the outbreak was not over.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


E. Coli Outbreak in Europe Is the Deadliest in History

Duncan Smith/Thinkstock(GENEVA, Switzerland) -- The rapidly developing European E. coli outbreak that has killed 18 people and sickened thousands, including four suspected cases in the United States, has become the deadliest outbreak of E. coli in modern history.

Where exactly people are being infected with the disease is still unknown, although 17 people fell ill after eating in the northern German city of Luebeck in May, according to the local media. Researchers from Germany's national disease control center are inspecting the restaurant in question.

Other health experts suspect the disease first spread in May at a festival in the northern German city of Hamburg that was visited by 1.5 million people. But as of yet, there is no concrete proof that either site is the cause of the outbreak.

In a briefing Friday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the four suspected cases in the United States are all people who likely contracted the infection while in northern Germany in May and brought it back to the United States. Three of the victims are hospitalized with hemolytic-uremic syndrome and the fourth reported bloody diarrhea consistent with the outbreak strain of E. coli.

Two American military service members stationed in Germany are also suspected cases. The CDC said both of them have a similar diarrheal illness.

Government officials stressed that the outbreak has not affected the United States directly.

The Food and Drug Administration is monitoring lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers from Spain and Germany based on information it has received from European investigators. Produce from those countries accounts for less than 0.2 percent of produce imported into the United States every year.

The FDA says it is also stepping up its food safety regulations.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Sweden Death Linked to German E. Coli Outbreak

Jupiterimages/Photos[dot]com(BERLIN) -- The E. Coli outbreak that’s had people in northern Germany on edge looks to be spreading.

The outbreak, linked to tainted vegetables, has reportedly claimed the life of a woman in southwestern Sweden after she was admitted to a local hospital this weekend following a trip to Germany.

German officials have urged people in some northern areas of the country not to eat cucumbers, tomatoes, and fresh leafy salads. At least 15 people have died and several hundred others have fallen ill after consuming tainted produce that Germany believes was imported from Spain.

Russia has banned imports from Spain and Germany pending further notice.

The exact source of the outbreak remains unknown.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio