Ebola survivors in Uganda advised to avoid intimacy for three months
Ugandan Ministry of Health experts have advised Ebola survivors to wait at least three months (90 days) before engaging in unprotected sex.
This, according to the ministry, is a preventive measure to curb the spread of the disease.
“Before returning home, Ebola patients will have their blood tested in the laboratory to ensure the virus is no longer in their body. However, people who have recovered from the illness should not have sex for at least three months unless they use condoms,” the ministry said.
However, the Uganda Virus Research Institute, Executive Director, Prof Pontiano Kaleebu said that although Ebola is not considered a sexually transmitted infection, in some studies, experts have found the virus in sperms after recovery.
In Liberia for instance, a woman was infected with Ebola following sexual intercourse with a male Ebola survivor.
President Yoweri Museveni had earlier said that he would not impose a lockdown due to the disease saying it is not as infectious as Covid-19.
“Ebola highly spreads through direct body contact and fluids. Other means are if you have sex, saliva and blood transfusion,” he said.
Ebola is a haemorrhagic fever whose symptoms include intense body weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat, vomiting, diarrhoea and rashes among others.
The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals (such as fruit bats, porcupines and non-human primates) and then spreads in the human population through direct contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials (e.g., bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids.
In Uganda, the first case was reported in Mubende District with the death toll as of Tuesday standing at 23. Additionally, six health officials working at the Mubende Regional Referral Hospital as of Wednesday had tested positive for the virus.