Uganda grapples with rumors amid efforts to contain Ebola outbreak

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KAMPALA, June 17 (Xinhua/GNA) — Uganda is grappling with spreading rumors as the country strives to fight the recent Ebola outbreak that has left three people dead.

 In a statement released on Sunday night, Uganda’s Minister of Health Jane Ruth Aceng said such rumors that the disease has broken out in different parts of the country are false.

 “I appeal to you all please please desist from spreading false rumors about Ebola on social media and other media platforms,” Aceng said.

 “Ebola is not something to joke with. It kills. Your irresponsible reporting can cause unnecessary panic among the population and greatly affect our response,”

Aceng said

 She also urged the public to always follow the information released by the ministry and not to trust any other sources.

 The statement came after the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday commended Uganda for its efforts in fighting the Ebola outbreak.

 After meeting with Ugandan officials here, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said via Twitter that “this has been an incredible meeting where I have got an opportunity to learn, with pleasure, that, the ministry of health is on top of the Ebola response in Uganda with immense support from the partners.”

 “I pledge my support to ensure that this outbreak is contained,” Ghebreyesus added.

 Aceng, who also attended the meeting, said the 10-month preparation for Ebola was worth it.

 “We’ve been able to mobilize 18.4 million U.S. dollars, train health workers in the high-risk districts, beef up logistics, erect isolation facilities and most importantly convene the Ebola

Accountability Forum — a forum that enabled all partners to

share their work,” Aceng said.

 On June 11, Uganda reported an outbreak of the deadly Ebola

hemorrhagic fever in the western district of Kasese, next to the

Ebola-hit eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

(DRC).

 So far the disease has killed three people, all relatives who

had traveled back from the DRC after nursing an Ebola-infected

patient there.

 The Ebola virus is highly contagious and causes a range of

symptoms including fever, vomiting, diarrhea, generalized pain or

malaise and in many cases internal and external bleeding.

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