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Ebola Virus Spreads through UgandaAired October 19, 2000 - 2:17 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: Trouble in the African nation of Uganda, battling its first ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus. Health officials there tell us that dozens of deaths already have occurred since the first case was spotted and they expect the total number of infections to reach 100 by the end of today. Three districts in northern Uganda have been quarantined and residents are warned to keep distance from their neighbors, at least for now.
More from CNN's Charlayne Hunter-Gault.
CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They buried John Oriam (ph) in a pouring rain along with his sister, joining his wife and one of their children, all victims of the Ebola virus sweeping through the Gulu district, some six hours drive north from the capital, Kampala. The numbers of dead and terminally ill are climbing, starting to overwhelm hospitals like this one.
DR. CHARLES ODONGO: We have a very limited number of staff members. They are getting fatigued.
HUNTER-GAULT: Here in this isolation ward, patients are showing the classic manifestations of the virus: diarrhea, vomiting, extreme dehydration and bleeding. At this stage, almost all the can be done is to try and make the patients as comfortable as possible.
This nurse says she's been working alone from 6:00 in the morning until 6:00 in the evening since the outbreak.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm breaking down.
HUNTER-GAULT: Hospitals staff say one of their biggest problems is limited supplies. The disinfectants, protective eye wear, gloves, gum boots, most of which have to be disposed of after each use.
ALICE LAMWAKA, PHARMACIST: They're actually out now and we don't know we will do tomorrow.
HUNTER-GAULT: The government is stepping up campaigns aimed at increasing awareness of the disease and its symptoms, pointing out that early detection and treatment could save lives. Health workers and military personnel are being sent to communities to find anyone who has come in contact with hospitalized victims and bring them for an examination.
Health workers are worried that will be difficult for communities like these to understand that closeness, which is always been a part of their culture, is now their enemy.
Charlayne Hunter-Gault, CNN, Gulu, Uganda.
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