Ministry of Health Allays Fears Over Congo Fever Outbreak in Nakaseke

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr Diana Atwine

The Ministry of Health has dismissed reports that there has been an outbreak of the Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever in the Nakaseke district.

Uganda Radio Network (URN) on Thursday reported that a nine-year-old boy had been confirmed by authorities in Nakaseke district to have the Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever.

The boy was reportedly isolated at Kiwoko Hospital in Nakaseke after a referral from Bamugoledde Health Center III with signs related to the highly contagious fever.

Both the father of the boy and the Nakaseke district Chairperson, Ignatius Koomu Kiwanuka told URN that the case had been confirmed.

But on Friday, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr Diana Atwine dismissed the reports saying there was no case of the Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever.

“We received the information but there is no epidemic of the Congo fever. There is no cause for alarm.We want to allay anxiety and we apologize for causing that alarm,” Dr Atwine told journalists at the Ministry of Health headquarters after she was asked to respond to the reports.

“There is no threat. Whoever reported this did it wrongly. Tests have been conducted on the said family and they all tested negative,” she added.

She said that there is a systematic procedure followed for any outbreak to be declared but stressed that the situation in Nakaseke did not warrant this.

“Uganda has developed a strong mechanism to deal with epidemics. We don’t follow statements uttered in panic,” the Permanent Secretary said.

This week, Ignatius Kiwanuka the area district Chairperson lashed out at officials in the Ministry of Health whom he accused of concealing the outbreak of the virus.

This comes three months after the same Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever was confirmed in the same district of Nakaseke and eight people reportedly were killed by the disease.

A person with the fever presents with a number of signs that include fever, muscle ache, dizziness, neck pain, neck stiffness, backache, sore eyes, sensitivity to light, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, enlarged lymph nodes, enlarged liver and bleeding.

It is primarily transmitted to people by ticks and livestock.

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