Health Ministry refutes alleged Ebola case

By William Madouk Garang

The national Ministry of Health has refuted allegation of ‘suspected Ebola case at the border town of Nimule’, citing that it’s a rumor which is creating unnecessary panic among the public.

In an exclusive interview with No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, the Undersecretary at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Victoria Anib said there is no any suspected case of Ebola virus disease-EVD in the country.

 “It’s just rumors! When we have any suspected case of Ebola, we will let you know, but if it’s on social media that’s not an official communication – the Ministry of Health have its communication channel,” said Dr. Anib.  

“Once there’s anything regarding public health issue in the country there will be an official announcement by the leadership from the Ministry of Health,” she added.

Dr. Anib, who was reacting to rumors surfacing on social media, urged the public to only consume official communication from concerned health authorities so that they shouldn’t be misled.

She advised the public to be vigilant and adhere to precautionary measures to protect themselves from disease, adding that propagandists are just creating extra terror.

“This social media propaganda is not helping anybody; it’s creating unnecessary panic to the community” said Dr. Anib.

Yesterday, unknown source claimed that Nimule town was at alarm after a 45-year South Sudanese man, who left Morobi camp of Moyo district via Melljio of Adjumani, and likely Elegu to Nimule developed symptoms of Ebola.

“He was identified vomiting blood, had difficulty in breathing, high fever, coughing and yellow eyes as per medical team in Nimule,” a source claimed.

“The team responded by isolating him and his sample have been taken for analysis in Juba, South Sudan with results expected tomorrow [yesterday],” the sources continued.

Two weeks ago, Ebola outbreak was declared in the neighboring Uganda after health authorities confirmed a case of the relatively rare Sudan strain in Mubende District in the central part of the country.

The caseload stood at 24 with five confirmed deaths, and some 19 people classified as probable cases had also died and buried before they could be tested.

Uganda’s president Museveni ruled out imposing a lockdown on Wednesday, in order to contain the highly contagious Ebola Virus, saying the country had the capacity to contain the outbreak.

Since outbreak of Ebola in Uganda, the residents in Eastern Equatoria State especially at the border town of Nimule expressed fear about the disturbing spread of Ebola virus disease or EVD.

Ebola is an often-fatal viral hemorrhagic fever. The disease is named after a river in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where it was discovered in 1976.

Human transmission is through body fluids, consuming infected animals like monkeys and antelopes found ill or dead. Main symptoms are fever, vomiting, bleeding, sore throat, fatigue and diarrhea.

Outbreaks are difficult to contain, especially in urban environments. People who are infected do not become infectious until symptoms appear which is after an incubation period of two and 21 days.

After Ebola outbreak, South Sudan national Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the activation of the Ebola management systems.

South Sudan Cabinet then approved $500,000 (approximately SSP 330 million), Ebola emergency respond funds for surveillance within its borders and prevent possible inflow of Ebola Virus into the country.

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