Churches suspend Communion for more than a month.

An outbreak of the virulent Ebola virus in the Gulu region of Uganda has taken 91 lives, and some frantic Ugandans have swallowed bleach in a desperate attempt to stop the lethal disease.

Health officials traced the source of the Ebola outbreak to one family in Gulu, which was infected by an unknown source in September. Since the news of the epidemic went out in October, residents have been afraid to touch one another. Those with a nosebleed or diarrhea are feared to have the virus, which is among the world's most lethal diseases.

Churches suspended worship services for weeks. Congregations expected to start offering Communion again in early November but would not allow worshipers to drink from a common cup.

The mostly rural population of Uganda is still confused about how the virus spreads. "People were panicking," Gulu policeman Wilson Odur says. Health officials are educating mostly illiterate subsistence farmers about hygiene to prevent the spread of the virus, and they warn against drinking bleach.

"I'm terrified. This disease can kill in just a few days," says George Kabwagu, a Jinja resident.

As of early November, more than 160 Ebola patients had survived. There were at least 280 confirmed cases, making this outbreak one of the largest in recent years.

U.S. missions personnel mostly remained in the country, helping provide medical supplies.

The Ebola virus remains a mystery to scientists, who have yet to determine its origin. The virus is transmitted among humans by direct contact with bodily fluids such as the blood and saliva of infected persons. Victims suffer flu-like symptoms, vomiting and diarrhea.

As their organs fail and blood does not clot, victims bleed from bodily ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.