An initial decision not to impose a lockdown this fall during an outbreak of Ebola in central Uganda has come to haunt the country. The disease spread to nine districts, including the capital, Kampala. The W.H.O. reported 142 confirmed cases and 55 confirmed deaths, with an additional 22 deaths probably linked to the outbreak.
Officials feared a backlash to harsh measures like a lockdown because of lingering anger over the restrictions imposed during the coronavirus pandemic, they said. They now acknowledge they acted too late to limit the outbreak, the country’s deadliest in over two decades.
The Ugandan public’s lack of trust in the government’s Ebola response created fertile ground for misconceptions, including the belief that Ebola does not exist, that the disease is caused by witchcraft and that the burials of Ebola victims are kept closed — not to prevent contagion, but so that their organs can be harvested and sold.
Details: Ebola, a highly contagious disease mostly seen in Africa, causes fever, fatigue and bleeding from the eyes and the nose. The virus kills about half of those it infects. Vaccines exist to prevent the disease, but there is no approved vaccine or drug treatment for the Sudan strain of the virus, which caused the recent outbreak.
– The New York Times