Number of ebola cases climbs

Despite MSF reports in recent weeks that the worst of the ebola crisis seemed to have passed, the number of suspected ebola cases in Gulu has increased during the last week (ending Dec 1, 2000) and now stands at 405, while a total of 133 people have died during this outbreak of ebola. The increase is thought to have been caused by a reluctance among sufferers to go to hospital, preferring to die at home. Surveillance methods are also thought to be at fault - intensive efforts are now being made to improve this. The epidemic has now spread to Masindi district, which borders Gulu. An MSF doctor and an MSF water and sanitation expert, based in Masindi, are providing technical advice on setting up the isolation unit in Masindi Hospital and advising on case management. They are also providing training on how to nurse ebola patients and bury victims safely. MSF accepted an offer to carry out a training session in Busia to prepare the hospital in case any of these people did develop symptoms. MSF advised the authorities in Busia to release the family members from the quarantine area, as only symptomatic ebola patients can transmit the disease.