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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Complicated malaria in Uganda

A ProMED-mail post
Archive Number: 20130131.1523957

Date: Thu 31 Jan 2013
Source: Daily Monitor [edited]

The Ministry of Health has linked the strange disease that broke out in Mubende district to malaria.

Epidemiologists from the ministry were recently sent to the district to investigate the cause of the disease reported mainly in Kiryandongo Parish in Kisanda Village.

In an interview yesterday [30 Jan 2013], the permanent secretary, Dr Asuman Lukwago, said the team led by the head of the epidemiological unit, Dr Issa Makumbi, had investigated most of the cases, and chances of Ebola haemorrhagic fever and the Marburg virus had been ruled out.

"We discovered that the people are suffering from a complicated form of malaria. This was confirmed from the 3 people that have been tested so far. The biggest challenge was that people thought that the disease was as a result of witchcraft. So they would seek the services of traditional healers, and in the process, they were delayed. By the time they went to hospital, their condition was already worse," Dr Lukwago said.

"The malaria outbreak was as a result of the heavy rains that were experienced in Mubende. These led to floods, thus causing mosquito breeding. But the situation is under control because our team is doing surveillance."

The disease, which broke out at the beginning of the month [January 2013], has so far killed 5 people, and more than 30 others are admitted. The disease is said to cause heat around the chest and itching in the neck, and after a few hours, vomiting, and bleeding through the nose and the mouth.

[Byline: Sarah Tumwebaze]
Comments: The maximum number of travelers coming to TravelSafe Clinic in India are traveling to Uganda. It is important for travel doctors to ensure that they are conversant with simple ways to prevent Malaria and these are communicated to travelers, as most Indians are reluctant to use chemoprophylaxis (tablets) to prevent Malaria. 

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