Ebola outbreak declared in Uganda

(ORDO NEWS) — The Ministry of Health of Uganda has announced the country’s first death from the highly contagious Ebola virus since 2019, announcing an outbreak in the central district of Mubende.

“The confirmed case is a 24-year-old man… (who) showed symptoms of EVD and subsequently died,” the ministry said.

In a statement released earlier, the World Health Organization said a 24-year-old man in Mubend had a “relatively rare Sudanese strain” of the virus.

“This comes after the National Rapid Response Team’s investigation of six suspicious deaths that occurred in the county this month,” the WHO said.

Eight other suspected patients are being treated, the WHO said. “For the first time in more than a decade, the Sudan Ebola strain has been reported in Uganda,” said WHO Director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti.

“We are working closely with national health authorities in investigating the source of this outbreak, supporting efforts to rapidly implement effective control measures.”

Uganda, which shares a porous border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has experienced several Ebola outbreaks in the past, most recently in 2019 when at least five people died.

Last month, the DRC reported a new case in the country’s violent east, less than six weeks after the end of the epidemic in the country’s northwest was declared.

Ebola is an often fatal viral hemorrhagic fever. First identified in 1976 in the DRC (then Zaire), the bat-borne virus has since caused a series of epidemics in Africa that have killed about 15,000 people.

The virus is transmitted to humans through bodily fluids, with the main symptoms being fever, vomiting, bleeding, and diarrhea.

The worst epidemic in West Africa between 2013 and 2016 killed more than 11,300 people. There have been more than a dozen epidemics in the DRC, the deadliest of which killed 2,280 people in 2020.

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