The Hot Zone virus, Ebola, reappears in Uganda

Ebola, the highly deadly virus made infamous by the film and book The Hot Zone has re-emerged in western Uganda.

Here’s a clip from Kenya’s NTV news (or, if you prefer, you can watch two guys at CNN talk about it):

Though horrible in terms of its effects on most of those infected, the outbreak reportedly has so far killed only 14. Ebola outbreaks often burn out fairly quickly because the virus kills its victims so quickly, reducing the spread of the virus. The AIDS virus, for example, spreads much better because it takes so long to sicken its host.

This time, however, people are a bit more worried given that someone with Ebola, apparently infected in the west, turned up in the nation’s capital city of Kampala. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni responded by making an urgent public plea:

“Ebola spreads by contact when you contact each other physically… avoid shaking of hands, because that can cause contact through sweat, which can cause problems,” said Yoweri Museveni. “Do not take on burying somebody who has died from symptoms that look like Ebola — instead call health workers because they know how to do it… avoid promiscuity because this sickness can also go through sex.”

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Tom Paulson

Tom Paulson is founder and lead journalist at Humanosphere. Prior to operating this online news site, he reported on science,  medicine, health policy, aid and development for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Contact him at tom[at]humanosphere.org, follow him on Twitter @tompaulson and/or send a comment below.