- The Ugandan authorities have dismissed as a hoax, rumours alleging that the deadly Swine Flu (H1N1) has killed two people in the city, Kampala. A state of shock and panic is reported to have rocked the capital after the reports.
The government which responded to a widely circulated text messages sent to mobile phone users, said the message was malicious, and only aimed at disrupting and distabilising the country’s administration.
Local newspapers quoted the anonymous text message saying: “Ministry of Health warning; to avoid swine flu which is suspected to be already in Uganda, you are advised not to eat pork or be near pigs for the time being. The first case reported in Ggaba and Nakulabye. Send this message to 25 people and MTN will reward you with airtime.”
The message is also reported to have caused chaos in the country’s parliament, with Members of Parliament demanding explanations from the Ministry of Health, saying such text can cause a stampede in the country.
Health Minister, Stephen Mallinga, said the country has not reported any case of the highly contagious flu in the country.
Dr Mallinga said officials at Entebbe had confined four people with symptoms of the flu but medical observations and tests revealed that they were negative.
Earlier, Dr Nathan Kenya-Mugisha, the director for clinical services, said in a statement sent to media houses, that there has not been any case of swine flu detected in Uganda since the outbreak began in April.
The statement said a special team of health workers had been stationed at the arrival lounge at Entebbe International Airport to screen persons entering Uganda in trying to detect a swine flu.
The latest update by the World Health Organisation said 22,940 cases of H1N1 infection have been confirmed in 69 countries, including more than 125 deaths since the outbreak began.
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