The Ministry of Health has warned of an outbreak of acute bacterial meningitis in Kinyogoga sub-county Nakaseke District.
The ministry says surveillance and laboratory tests by its officials had confirmed that 16 people were infected by the deadly disease.
The Ministry attributed the outbreak to overcrowding among infected people. The current dry spell is thought to have contributed to the chances of spread as many people were forced to gather around water sources.
“The current water shortage has led pastoralists to converge in big numbers at river Lugogo that flows through Nakasongola and Nakaseke district,” said the Health
Ministry in a statement.
According to the Health Ministry, Acute Bacterial Meningitis is a rapidly progressive bacterial infection that causes inflammation of the layers of tissue that cover the brain and spinal (meninges). Some of the symptoms are fever, headache, Nuchal rigidity, back pain, and changes in mental status.
The ministry further warns that although anyone is at risk, children and young adults are more vulnerable therefore at greater risk of contracting the disease.
Uganda is within the African Meningitis belt and has had several meningitis outbreaks in a number of districts West Nile, Northern and Eastern regions.
The ministry says it has embarked on steps to control the spread of the disease, which include among others;
- Reactivating vaccination across Nakasongola and neighboring sub counties.
- Setting up a rapid response team to support the response structures has been established.
- Increasing meningitis surveillance by the ministry and district.
- Conducting sensitization programmes to educate masses about the signs symptoms and dangers of the disease