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"WHO is aware of the reports coming out of Uganda and is taking all the necessary measures to investigate and verify." He added that the WHO had received reports before of smallpox cases, but they had turned out to be false alarms.
"In the past, these cases have always turned out not to be smallpox and were, usually, either chickenpox or monkeypox cases," he said, stressing that these reports were of suspected cases of the disease.
The Ministry of Health yesterday said smallpox outbreak reported in eastern Uganda is a false alarm, stressing that cases under investigation in the region are likely to be chickenpox infections.
“In Bududa District IDP camps, they (health workers) have seen suspected cases of chickenpox,” Dr Kenya Mugisha, the acting director general of health services, said. “We have sent our teams there to verify the cases but it’s not smallpox.”
KAMPALA, March 25 (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) office here has ruled out an outbreak of smallpox in eastern Uganda after suspected cases were reported. Joaquim Saweka, WHO country representative, told Xinhua by telephone on Thursday that preliminary investigations show that the suspected cases may turn out to be chickenpox, which is common in the East African country. "It is not smallpox, most likely it is chickenpox and these are isolated cases without linkage. It is not an outbreak," he said.