Anthrax outbreak confirmed in Ibanda district as five test positive
An outbreak of anthrax has been confirmed in Ibanda district after five of the six samples sent to the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) in Arua for testing last week turned out positive with the disease.
While giving an update on the anthrax outbreak at the district health office on Wednesday, November 15th, Vincent Mugisha, the district surveillance officer confirmed the development and urged the public, especially residents of Keihangara sub-county, to be extra careful and stop consuming meat of dead animals.
Seven people from Rugaaga I and Rugaaga IV villages in Keihangara sub-county, Ibanda South County were last week hospitalized at Uganda Martyrs Ibanda Hospital Kagongo over suspected anthrax infection. They had signs and symptoms common with anthrax infection, including boils, wounds, and swelling of different parts of the upper body, especially the arms.
Mugisha said the patients were discharged from the hospital over the weekend and they are currently being monitored from their homes.
Mugisha also revealed that scientists from Ministry of Health will be in the district to carry out further investigations in the areas where the disease was reported.
This is the fourth outbreak in the district in recent years. “One person in Kakijerere in Bisheshe Division, Ibanda Municipality, succumbed to the disease during last year’s outbreak,” said the officials.
According to Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Anthrax is a zoonotic disease caused by gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis which occurs naturally in soil and commonly affects domestic and wild animals.
People can get sick with anthrax if they come in contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products. Anthrax can cause severe illness in both humans and animals.