Uganda has 113 suspected cases of a new strain of Ebola fever that has killed 29 people, officials said on Monday, vowing to take the necessary steps to stop the virus spreading.
Ugandans fear the outbreak could mushroom into a major epidemic affecting the capital Kampala.
"We have an Ebola lab in Entebbe (near Uganda's international airport) where we are testing samples we took from suspected cases," Health Ministry spokesman Paul Kabwa said.
Some banks and supermarkets in the city issued their staff with protective rubber gloves for handling money they feared could be contaminated with the virus, which often causes victims to bleed to death through ears, eyes and other orifices.
All cases so far have been in western Uganda's Bundibugyo district, bordering Democratic Republic of the Congo, except a doctor from the region who went to the capital after treating patients and died soon afterwards in a Kampala hospital.
"I'm very worried," said Valentine Oketcho, 25, who hands out fliers for restaurants in a Kampala shopping mall. "It's terrible, it's killing people in less than a week. This is worse than AIDS. At least you can survive AIDS for some years."
Others said the government should declare a state of emergency, although it has said it is on top of the epidemic.
The outbreak, which started in August, has sparked panic among officials, health workers and the public. A fifth health worker was among the latest dead, officials said.
Kampala was rife with rumors of two Ebola deaths in the city over the weekend, including a man who collapsed in the street, although Kabwa said neither fitted the definition of a suspected Ebola case.
The affected region borders Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the Ebola river gave the virus its name after some of the first cases were recorded in its valley in 1976.
"If it can do all this in Bundibugyo, it could spread further, even Kampala," said Amira Hussein, who runs a gift shop. "So now in addition to malaria, AIDS, plague and all the rest, we have Ebola. Are we unlucky?"
The last Ebola outbreak in Uganda was in 2000, when 425 people caught it and more than half died.