ARUA. Authorities at Arua regional referral hospital have confirmed that the death of a 10 year old boy at the facility on Tuesday was not because of any viral hemorrhagic fever related case.

This comes after the same authorities notified the ministry of health of possible hemorrhagic fever and went ahead to remind the emergency team to secure the place where the patient was placed.

The said child was admitted to the hospital on the 23rd April with a one-week history of fever and other related symptoms after being referred from Ediofe health center III. Reports indicate the child was referred because of severe Anaemia and needed blood transfusion. Basic tests were done and found to be negative.

However while in the ward, the child started vomiting blood and it’s against that background that an alert was put for possible case of viral hemorrhagic fever as a cause of the symptoms.

“As per the protocols here, we immediately notified the emergency response team of the hospital that acted timely to do a baseline assessment survey of the risks in the child, although the child was born to Congolese parents, the risks were found to be low from the fact that the child had never been to Congo according to the report, and there were no history of persons presenting similar signs or people who had travelled from other places or deaths of the same in the area in river Oli division in Arua municipality” Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital Director, Arua regional referral hospital explained.

Dr Aniku said after notifying the ministry of health and taking samples from the child, despite the supportive interventions put by the team, the child died and the team thus took additional precautions even in the burial at home.

But these initial fears have now been erased after confirmation from Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI)

“We sent samples to confirm this and as we speak now we have got confirmation from UVRI that the samples that were sent tested negative from all the viral hemorrhagic fevers of the categories of interest” Dr. Aniku said.

According to world Health Organization (WHO), Viral hemorrhagic fever is a general term for a severe illness, sometimes associated with bleeding, that may be caused by a number of viruses.

Dr Gilbert Aniku

Dr Aniku said one confirmed case of a viral hemorrhagic fever is considered as an epidemic and declaration of an epidemic alert. He emphasized the need for the public to note that if a person is bleeding from all body parts of a sudden onset with a back ground of fever and has had a history of travels to a country with a high risk like South Sudan or DR Congo or if the person has had contact with wild animals or birds, it presents a heightened risk.

In October 2017, Ministry of Health notified WHO of a confirmed outbreak of Marburg virus disease in Kween district, Eastern Uganda that was officially declared an outbreak on 19th October 2017.

As of 24 October, five cases had been reported – one confirmed case, one probable case with an epidemiological link to the confirmed case, and three suspected cases including two health workers.

The ministry was applauded by the international community for a timely intervention after the confirmation with a team deployed to the two affected districts within 24 hours.

Dr Aniku said the country has mechanisms of timely recognition and containment, part of the reason they successfully helped in West Africa with its 2014 outbreak of Ebola described as the largest and most complex Ebola outbreak since the virus was first discovered in 1976.