The Ebola outbreak in Uganda has reached 38 cases with 16 deaths since July 1. All the patients came from a rural region west of Kampala. Laboratory tests reveal the virus to be the Sudan strain of Ebola which carries a mortality of 50 percent and which has raised its head four other times in Africa since 1976. The CDC has sent a team of experts to Uganda to evaluate the situation and to aid in treatment. Eighteen of the first 20 casualties arose from one family.
A year ago a single patient presented with Ebola in the Luwero district of Uganda.
The previous outbreak involving the Sudan strain of Ebola in Uganda occurred in 2000 with 425 presumptive cases leading to 224 deaths by January 23, 2001. Prevalent symptoms included diarrhea, asthenia, anorexia, headache, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain and chest pain. Twenty percent of patients developed bleeding, which mainly involved the GI tract. Epidemiologic studies revealed three main modes of transmission: 1. Attending funerals that encouraged ritual contact with corpses. 2. Intrafamilial or nosocomial contact. 3. Fourteen health care workers became infected.