The death toll from the
strange disease outbreak in Kyotera district has reached ten.
The latest victim is Francis Mugema, the Kijonjo parish councilor, who passed away on Friday last week.
The rare disease was
first reported in Nakatoke B village,
Kijonjo parish, Kasasa sub-county where it killed a 45-year-old farmer within five days after developing painful
swellings on the neck, face, chest, skin,
It is now six
months since the outbreak was reported in Kijonjo A,
Kijonjo B, Nakatoke A, and Nakatoke B villages, Kijonjo parish in Kasasa sub-county. An infected person presents with fever,
and chest pain,
vomiting, and general body weakness and die within a week.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the
Ministry of Health are jointly investigating the unknown illness to establish the cause of the death. According
to Dr. Janefrancis Zalwango, the Masaka Regional
WHO epidemiologist, they initially thought it was Ebola, Marburg, Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), and
Rift Valley Fever (RVF).
He says that they
sent samples to Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) -Entebbe which tested negative. As of November 2021, a total of 13 deaths had
been registered by the
investigating teams and nine of them had unknown causes but with similar signs and symptoms. Alex Kakeeto, the Kasasa sub-county chief under the Mengo administration, says
that they are working with the district and health authorities to contain the
//Cue in: “Omuntu atandika…………
Cue Out:………….kyamaanyi nyo.”//
Dr. Edward Muwanga, the Kyotera District Health Officer, says that they are working with WHO and different health
teams to get to the
bottom of the problem. A December 4, 2021, Outbreak
Investigation Report indicates that residents in the affected communities took
it for witchcraft and have
already sought help from various traditional healers.
It further adds that the failure to seek medical attention could contribute to more deaths if no
interventions are designed to curb
the situation. Still,
it was established that several residents abandoned their homes claiming that the village is haunted by a deadly spell.
meantime, Zalwango recommends that all cases identified in the affected communities be isolated immediately for proper
management by skilled health care workers. She has appealed to district health teams to actively follow up contacts regularly for identification of those that develop symptoms for isolation.
has learnt that there were more than five people in Kijonjo, who contracted the disease but they were treated and recovered. Apparently, there is a 14-year-old patient under strict medical supervision at Masaka Regional Referral Hospital.
The health workers at the regional referral, say they took samples
off the patient and they are still waiting for the results to determine the next course of action.