Published Date: 2008-01-07 22:00:13
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Ebola hemorrhagic fever - Uganda (02): (Bundibugyo)
Archive Number: 20080107.0092
EBOLA HEMORRHAGIC FEVER - UGANDA (02): (BUNDIBUGYO)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Sun 6 Jan 2008
Source: AllAfrica.com The Monitor (Kampala) [edited]
Uganda: Ebola Scare as Dead Monkeys Found in Bundibugyo
The discovery of 8 dead monkeys [soecies not named] in the Rwenzori
National Park in Bundibugyo District has again caused more fear and
tension among locals who are just coming to terms with the Ebola
outbreak that ravaged the area and is said to have been brought to the
area by infected monkeys. District leaders and the health workers
suspect that the monkeys may have been suffering from another virus
but are all the same carrying out investigations.
In a meeting of medical experts with the district leaders held on
Thursday [3 Jan 2008] at the district headquarters that was aimed at
assessing and fighting the Ebola epidemic, whose epicenter has been
here, it was noted that the monkeys and chimpanzees have certain
viruses in their blood similar to those detected in human blood
samples. The investigations, however, will take cognisance of the fact
that illegal hunting and killing of monkeys in the Mount Rwenzori
range is going on uninterrupted.
It was resolved that the district authorities of Bundibugyo with
immediate effect [will] alert the Uganda Wildlife Authority to
intervene since a good number of families living in the mountains are
[eating] monkey meat and putting their lives at risk.
Meanwhile, on Fri 4 Jan 2008 the Director General of Health Services,
Dr Sam Zaramba issued a statement saying that the cumulative total of
Ebola patients stands at 149 with 37 deaths. "In Bundibugyo District,
5 people are currently admitted, one in Kikyo Health Centre and 4
in Bundibugyo Hospital. Of these, one new suspected case has been
registered and was admitted to Bundibugyo Hospital in the last 24
hours. One patient was discharged from Kikyo Health Centre," the
statement said. The statement had positive news [also] saying that
441 out of 771 contacts have completed 21 days of follow-up and are
considered safe. Dr Zaramba, however, cautioned against "creating
(Byline: Steven Ainganiza)
[Monkeys have been implicated circumstantially in some other outbreaks
of Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fevers in Central Africa, either
through hunting and slaying or during preparation and consumption of
monkey meat. Monkeys have transmitted filoviruses to humans (e.g.
Marburg virus in Marburg, Germany, through autopsy procedures) and to
oher monkeys (e.g. Ebola virus in Reston, USA), but transmission to
humans in natural settings has not been confirmed [only from apes to
humans via blood, when infected gorillas or chimpanzees are butchered.
- Mod.JW]. The local authorities in the Bundibugyo District of Uganda
seem more inclined to attribute the deaths of the 8 monkeys in the the
Rwenzori National Park to illegal poaching for meat and not as a
consequence of disease.
It is clear, however, that the Ebola outbreak in the Bundibugyo
district has not yet been extinguished and the death of the monkeys
may foretell a new flare-up. - Mod.CP]
[An interactive map of the Bundibugyo region of Western Uganda is
available at <http://www.maplandia.com/uganda/bundibugyo/>.