Charles Okwera, the Amuru deputy District Health Officer has confirmed to Uganda Radio Network that the deaths occurred last week in areas of Pabbo Sub County. He says twelve other people have also been diagnosed with signs similar to symptoms of meningitis.
At least two people in Pabbo Sub County in Amuru district have died following a suspected outbreak of meningitis in the area.
Catherine Apio Oywaa, the LC5 councilor representing Pabbo Sub County says most of the cases have been reported at Palwong parish where the two deaths occurred.
Charles Okwera, the deputy District Health Officer has confirmed to Uganda Radio Network that the deaths occurred last week in areas of Pabbo Sub County. He said twelve other people have also been diagnosed with signs and symptoms similar to those of meningitis.
Okwera explained that samples from the patients have been taken to St Mary’s Hospital, Lacor in Gulu to establish the cause of the infection. He said they are yet to receive the results of the tests to ascertain the exact condition.
Okwera says all of the suspected meningitis patients have complained of conditions including fever, headache and pain in the neck. Okwera adds that the district last registered cases of meningitis between 2001 and 2002. He says presently, the district is on high alert to respond to a possible meningitis outbreak. Meanwhile, members of the community are being told to report any conditions, which they may suspect to be meningitis to the nearest health units for diagnosis and medication.
Josephine Anying, the spokesperson of St Mary’s Hospital, Lacor told Uganda Radio Network on Monday that the results of the tests are not yet out and ruled out any speculation until the medical tests are released.
Suspicion of meningitis in Amuru comes hardly a month after the disease was reported to have broken out in neighbouring West Nile region where over seventy people are reportedly infected.
According to the World Health Organization, Meningitis is a condition characterized by an inflammation of the meninges, the covering of the brain and spinal cord, which is most often caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal infection. The bacteria are transmitted from person-to-person through droplets of respiratory or throat secretions from carriers. The typical ways of transmission include close and prolonged contact such as kissing, sneezing or coughing on someone, or living in close quarters such as a dormitory and by sharing eating or drinking utensils with an infected person.
The UN international health agency says that patients with the disease have a stiff neck, high fever, and sensitivity to light, confusion, headaches and vomiting. However, while the disease is potentially fatal, it can be treated once referred early.
catherine apio oywaa
world health organization