Rwanda’s ministry of health has implored the public and concerned agencies to strengthen measures to prevent the spread of Ebola into Rwanda. This comes after one case of the Ebola virus was, Tuesday, confirmed in Uganda’s western district of Kasese by the World Health Organisation.

The first victim was a 5-year-old boy who was has since reported to have passed on at Bwera hospital where he had been admitted in an isolation unit. The two confirmed cases, according to latest information, are the mother of the child and her eight-months baby, according to reports from Uganda.

The outbreak in Uganda comes in the wake of a deadly outbreak in DR Congo’s provinces North Kivu and Ituri, which has persisted for10 months.

Despite the fact that Rwanda is surrounded by this public health threat, no Ebola case has been reported in the country, the ministry of health said in a public notice. The government said that it is taking the Ebola outbreak in both neighbouring countries seriously and is intensifying the surveillance at points of entry, at health facilities and at community levels.

In order to protect oneself and prevent the spread of EVD, the Ministry said, it is important to ensure the following:

  • Proper body hygiene by washing hands frequently
  • Avoid travels to an area affected by an Ebola outbreak
  • ·Avoid contact with blood and body fluids, items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids, body of someone who died of EVD and or meat from an unknown source.
  • Report via a toll-free (114) nationwide phone alert system, to community health workers, nearby health facility and or police station any suspected case with Ebola-like symptoms.
  • The notice said that the ministry of health in coordination with the Rwanda Biomedical Centre, WHO and other partners continues the work to strengthen national capacity for early detection and containment in the event a case spreads in Rwanda.
  • Ongoing work to strengthen national capacity for early detection and containment, it added, include robust community awareness and mobilisation, logistics, an EVD treatment centre, and surveillance.

The ministry called upon all Rwandans and visitors to Rwanda who develop symptoms of Ebola or have been in contact with a patient with its symptoms or who participated in a burial ceremony of a known case to seek medical attention immediately at the nearest health facility.

Symptoms

According to the WHO, the incubation period, that is, the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms, is from 2 to 21 days. A person infected with Ebola cannot spread the disease until they develop symptoms.

Symptoms of EVD can be sudden and include: fever, severe weakness, muscle pain, headache, and sore throat.

This is followed by: vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding (for example, oozing from the gums, or blood in the stools).

Laboratory findings include low white blood cell and platelet counts and elevated liver enzymes.

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