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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ebola Bundibugyo, Tuesday Night Numbers

First, let us thank our Minister of Defense Dr. Crispus Kiyonga, who wrote a tribute to Dr. Jonah in today’s New Vision.  Dr. Kiyonga was at one time the Minister of Health, and we met him when we were both “mature” students at Hopkins. In fact his picture was on our blog last month when he stopped by to greet us.  He has been concerned and calling many of us over the last few days, and today’s article is a very moving tribute to health workers here.  We very much appreciate it.  Here is the link:

Second, we continue to get calls from the erroneous radio report today that Scott is sick with Ebola.  It is a rare opportunity to experience Mark Twain’s famous quote:  rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.  Though we can take it with a dose of humor, we do feel terrible for our friends who live in fear and have lost so much already, to have to hear another report of bad news.

Now the news:
  • Total cases remain at 115, the first time we’ve had no new cases or admissions. Praise God for a respite.
  • Deaths:  31.  CFR 26.9%.  One of the deaths today was the 20-something daughter of Jeremiah Muhindo.  She had been fairly stable, and we had hoped she would pull through.  It is an example of the power of this virus that even healthy young people who initially seem to have great hope sometimes succumb.
  • Census:  16 Bundibugyo, with 1 discharge (Dr. Sessanga), 1 death, and no admissions.  `12 in Kikyo, with 1 death and 1 readmission.  
  • LABS:  no new results.  
  • Spread:  four highly suspicious cases in Fort Portal, all are contacts from Bundibugyo.  We agree with the advice that contacts should stay put for 21 days to help contain the spread of this disease, and we are doing so ourselves.  So far Jonah’s family is fine, again a tribute to his care.
  • Contacts:  359 identified, 152 followed up today.

Can life become any more bizarre?  We ask that frequently. Our dear elderly neighbor has been struggling with congestive heart failure, hypertension, a hip fracture, and possibly cancer . . . So when his son came to call Scott to see him urgently today, I ran over to assess the situation.  Twice in the last year he has been near death but sustained by good management of his medications when Scott adjusts them . . .I found everyone on the porch and our neighbor in a closed room alone.  He had urinated blood colored urine.  The family was panicking.  He had no fever, no vomiting, no diarrhea, no contact with Ebola, so I reassured them that this was most likely a urinary tract infection, common in bedridden older people.  But what are the chances that such a sign would come up precisely in the middle of an Ebola epidemic???  

Last but not least, Luke is boarding an airplane in the next few hours, to return home.  His grandmother will miss him terribly; his siblings are going to be bolstered by his return.  I will see them as soon as my 21 days are up. Pray for safe travel.


Ryan Rippee said...

I will be praying for Bundibugyo and Uganda. I had the privilege of being there in February of this year ministering to pastors at Christ for all Missions church and Pastor Vanensio Bamwitirebye.

Thank you for the information. I have still been unable to reach Vanensio through email.

claire said...

I'm thankful Luke can join the rest of the crew soon. I know that will be a comfort to him and good for Jack, Julia and Caleb to have their older bro back. We'll pray for safe travel.

Prayers and thoughts,

Anonymous said...

Praise the new cases!!! Continuing our prayers~

Anonymous said...

I hope they can take the ebola tests of the old man. Just in case!

Anonymous said...

The article was a joy to read. Thank you, Scott and Jennifer for believeing in Jonah, and helping to make his dream a reality. His "contribution" to medicine will be far reaching. His love for his people and their health went beyond measure. In my heart I feel as if I KNEW this man. I'm thankful for that. It is a privilege to share of him and you guys with our young daughters. You are fine examples of those who truly answer the call of Jesus. We love, support and pray diligently for you. "Friends" in Tennessee