KAMPALA (Reuters) - Pneumonic plague has broken out in northern Uganda, killing 38 people and putting dozens in hospital, a senior health official said on Tuesday.
Issa Makumbi, assistant commissioner in charge of disease surveillance, said investigations into a disease that struck the region in November were continuing but that tentative tests had confirmed it was pneumonic plague.
Health services in the impoverished east African nation are patchy and it can take weeks before diseases are identified and response teams and medical supplies are sent to affected areas.
“So far (pneumonic plague) has been detected in five districts in northern Uganda where a total of about 38 people have died,” Makumbi said.
Medical personnel had been sent from the capital Kampala and were battling to contain the outbreak.
Northern Uganda is recovering from two decades of civil war waged by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Poverty and poor sanitary conditions makes the region vulnerable to diseases.