Ebola kills another health worker in Uganda outbreak

Ebola nurse documenting in patient chart
Ebola nurse documenting in patient chart

UNMEER, Simon Ruf / Flickr cc

Cases and deaths in Uganda's Ebola Sudan outbreak continue to rise, as the country's health minister reported a fourth death in a healthcare worker.

On Twitter, Jane Ruth Aceng Ocero, MBChB, MPH, said the health worker is a 58-year old woman who worked as an anesthetic officer. She died at Fort Portal Hospital after a 17-day battle with the disease.

The hospital is in the town of Fort Portal, in the Fort Portal district of western Uganda. It is the referral hospital for several districts in the region.

Cases rise to 63 cases; deaths up to 29

At a World Health Organization (WHO) briefing today, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, said so far, 63 confirmed and probable cases have been reported, including 29 deaths.

Of 10 healthcare workers infected, 4 have died. Tedros added that 4 people have recovered and are receiving follow-up care. The numbers are up from 62 cases and 27 deaths reported earlier this week.

The WHO has released $2 million in emergency contingency funds to support Uganda's outbreak response and is sending more specialists, supplies, and resources.

"When there is a delay in detecting an Ebola outbreak, it is normal for cases to increase steadily at the beginning and then decrease as life-saving interventions and outbreak control measures are implemented," he said. The WHO's African regional office will hold a briefing on Uganda's Ebola outbreak tomorrow.

Supportive care, testing are key

In an update today, Doctors Without Borders said that, without vaccines and treatments, traditional methods of fighting the virus are critical, including ensuring that supportive care and decentralized testing is close to where people live to speed care and make people more comfortable seeking care.

The group has set up a 36-bed treatment unit at Mubende Hospital, the area where the first case was detected. It is also setting up another treatment center in Madudu, the outbreak's epicenter.

This week's top reads