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Monday, November 03, 2014

Researchers study several cases in the 2012 Ebola hemorrhagic fever outbreak in Uganda - African Health Sciences Vol.12 No.4 #ebola #EHF

Ebola, also known as Ebola virus disease (EVD) or Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) is a disease that has caused 4546 deaths in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, as the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates in a report released on Oct.25.

Uganda previously had an outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever, which ended on August 2012 and resulted in 17 deaths. African Health Sciences vol.12 no.4 was published in Dec.2012 and includes "Repeated outbreaks of Viral hemorrhagic fevers in Uganada" by Mbonye et al., which aims to present an epidemiological picture of outbreaks of the Marburg virus, which is related to Ebola and also causes hemorrhagic fevers.

Hemorrhagic fevers have occurred in different parts of Uganda since an outbreak of EHF in Gulu occurred in 2000.

For this study, researchers evaluated Marburg hemorrhagic fever outbreaks that occurred in 2012 in Ibanda and Kibaale. They collected information through several case studies of how often the symptoms were distributed and the probability of cases. By Nov.12 2012, there were 9 confirmed and 5 probable cases of Marburg virus, in which 7 cases resulted in death.

From these results, researchers found there were several important questions to discuss. Some questions include: 

  • How has the virus genome changed, and does this change allow it to infect many unknown hosts? 
  • How can more surveillance detect infections? 
  • How does the Marburg virus change the way humans interact with animals? 

The study concluded that viral hemorrhagic fever outbreaks in Uganda required further investigation and study to determine the source of the outbreaks.

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