The journey home after having tested negative for Ebola

August 2012

Villagers helping Magdalena carry her new belongings to her house.
WHO/B. Sensasi

An outbreak of Ebola haemorrhagic fever in Uganda’s Kibaale district, about 220 km west of the capital Kampala, in July/August 2012 has affected the lives of many.

The Ebola virus can cause severe haemorrhagic fever, which kills up to 90% of those infected. Although the origins of the virus are still imperfectly understood, its home is the rainforests of central Africa. Humans are often infected after contact with infected animals such as primates, and the virus is transmitted from human to human through contact with bodily fluids. Symptoms include fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and sometimes bleeding. There is no antiviral medicine or vaccine for Ebola.

WHO helps countries with Ebola outbreaks by providing expertise and documentation to support disease investigation and control and helps coordinate the response.

Magdalena Nyamurungi*, who lives in Kibaale district and fell ill at the time of the outbreak, was a suspected case of Ebola. She was taken to the isolation ward at Kagadi Hospital for testing and treatment. After laboratory tests showed that Magdalena was not infected with Ebola, WHO and partners supported her return to her community. This is the story of Magdalena’s journey home.

* name changed to protect privacy

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