Lifestyle & Belief

Ebola outbreak may have spread at baby's funeral


A chicken stands with a piglet at a small family farm outside the quarantined commercial pig farm infected with Ebola-Reston virus in Pandi town north of Manila on January 8, 2009.



The Ebola outbreak that's currently terrifying residents of western Uganda is believed to have spread widely at the funeral at the first known victim, a 3-month-old girl whose mother also died from the disease, the Associated Press reported.

According to aid group Doctors without Borders, of the 65 people who attended the funeral, 15 contracted the deadly disease, and at least 11 have died. The outbreak has killed at least 16 people thus far.

According to CNN, the hospital that is currently at the center of the outbreak is dealing with 30 suspected cases, including five from Kibaale prison.

"Right now there is no treatment for Ebola, so the most effective measure we can take is to contain the spread of the disease," said Olimpia de la Rosa, the Doctors Without Borders emergency coordinator for Uganda Ebola intervention.

Reuters reported that many residents in western Uganda said that they were too scared to go shopping, visit churches or mosques, or travel freely.

Health officials are hopeful that this outbreak will not be a repeat of the outbreak in 2000, when 425 were infected with the virus, and over 200 people died.  

President Yoweri Museveni has advised people to avoid shaking hands, casual sex and do-it-yourself burials to reduce the chance of contracting the deadly haemorrhagic fever, Reuters reported.

Ebola is transmitted by close contact and body fluids such as saliva, vomit, feces, sweat, semen and blood.