Uganda's Ebola Warning: No Hand Shaking, Casual Sex, or At Home Burial

Category: Health / Jul 30, 2012 5:23PM EDT

The President of Uganda (July 30) advised people to avoid shaking hands, casual sex and do-it-yourself burials to reduce the chance of contracting the deadly Ebola virus after an outbreak killed 14 people and put many more at risk.

His advice came as scared patients and health workers fled a district hospital in rural western Uganda where several cases of Ebola were being treated.

The president made a public appeal for people to avoid some forms of personal contact.

"Ebola should be handled by medical personnel wearing protective gear, when you handle this case well, you can eliminate Ebola quickly, this is what happened in Luwero about six months ago, a girl contracted Ebola and she died in Bombo military hospital, however the medical staff from the beginning had been suspicious and handled her carefully there was no spread from that sickness. I want to salute the doctors of Luwero for having detected that sickness in time so I therefore appeal to you to be vigilant, avoid shaking of hands, do not take on burying somebody who has died of symptoms which look like Ebola, instead call health workers to be the ones to do it and avoid promiscuity because this sickness can also go through sex," Museveni said in a televised presidential address.

There is no treatment or vaccine against Ebola, which is transmitted by close contact and body fluids such as saliva, vomit, sweat, semen and blood.

Infected people remain contagious even when dead, compounding the problem of burying the bodies.

The country's most devastating outbreak was in 2000 when 425 people were infected, more than half of whom died.