Published Date: 2012-02-13 15:10:07
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Plague, fatal - Uganda: (AW) RFI
Archive Number: 20120213.1039922
PLAGUE, FATAL - UGANDA: (ARUA) REQUEST FOR INFORMATION
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Wed 8 Feb 2012
Source: AllAfrica, The New Monitor (Uganda) report [edited]
A fresh outbreak of plague is suspected after 2 people died of similar symptoms in Vurra County, Arua district, where health officials here have put the community on alert.
Over the years, plague outbreaks have been emerging from the neighboring DR Congo. When contacted, the district health officer, Dr Patrick Anguzu, said he was still consulting for details of the disease. "I have not yet received a report on the outbreak, but I will try to consult," he said.
But the Vurra MP, Dr Sam Okuonzi, told Daily Monitor in a telephone interview that the 2 died in Opia parish. As a drive to fight the annual disease, in 2009, the Ministry of Health launched a sensitization program for the 2 bordering districts of Nebbi and Arua, where previous outbreaks have occurred.
[byline: Felix Warom Okello, Clement Aluma]
[No specific details of the cases are included in the posting. Most cases are due to bubonic plague following the bite of an infected rodent flea, causing a swollen and very tender lymph gland. The swollen gland is called a "bubo". Bubonic plague should be suspected when a person develops a swollen gland, fever, chills, headache, and extreme exhaustion, and has a history of possible exposure to infected rodents, rabbits, or fleas. A person usually becomes ill with bubonic plague 2 to 6 days after being bitten.
When bubonic plague is left untreated, plague bacteria invade the bloodstream. As the plague bacteria multiply in the bloodstream, they spread rapidly throughout the body and cause a severe and often fatal condition. Infection of the lungs with the plague bacterium causes the pneumonic form of plague, a severe respiratory illness. The infected person may experience high fever, chills, cough, and breathing difficulty and may expel bloody sputum. If plague patients are not given specific antibiotic therapy, the disease can progress rapidly to death. At this stage, person-to-person spread can occur, causing other cases of "primary" plague pneumonia.
The districts of Uganda can be seen on the map at http://www.coetzee-uganda.com/index_files/District_Map_of_Uganda.htm. The HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map of Uganda is available at http://healthmap.org/r/00XI. - Mod.LL]