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CNN Today

Ebola Outbreak Confirmed in Uganda

Aired October 17, 2000 - 1:40 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: And now we turn to health news. Schools are closed and funerals banned as new cases of the Ebola virus are confirmed in Uganda. More than three dozen people have been killed in the outbreak, which is centered in northern Uganda, around Gulu and nearby communities.

More now from CNN's Catherine Bond.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CATHERINE BOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The burial of a woman who died of Ebola, the rare and often fatal virus that's broken out in and around a town in northern Uganda. My wife bled from the nose, says this victim's husband. She died this morning and I buried her here.

At a mission hospital, patients include an infant who, doctors say, would be lucky to survive. The virus first causes flu-like symptoms, but kills by liquefying organs. The Ebola virus broke out here two weeks before Uganda was able to identify it, claiming the lives of three young nurses who tended infected patients in this hospital before protective clothing was issued.

DR. T. ZABLON, LACOR HOSPITAL: The ministry of health and the World Health Organization and the Red Cross have responded very well. We asked for a few things and they've helped us, and the effort is still going on.

BOND: Health workers are telling people not to wash the bodies of the dead or bury them at home, as is customary. This woman says she is scared she may have caught the virus after helping bury a victim.

Three areas around the town of Gulu are said to have been quarantined, travel to and from them limited. But the question remains of why an outbreak of Ebola has occurred here for the first time in Uganda. Critics blaming the country's military involvement in the Congo, from where Ebola gets its name and where the last major outbreak killed about 300 people five years ago. A transit point for soldiers returning from there, Gulu is a military base. But so far the army has denied it's responsible for bringing the virus home, saying none of its soldiers have yet shown signs of it.

Catherine Bond, CNN, Nairobi. (END VIDEOTAPE)

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