Ministry of Health confirms Ebola Outbreak in Uganda
Uganda’s health ministry has confirmed an outbreak of the highly contagious Ebola virus in the central district of Mubende.
The ministry announced the country’s first death from Ebola since 2019.
“The confirmed case is a 24-year-old male who presented with its symptoms and later succumbed,” said the ministry on Twitter.
Dr. Diana Atwiine, the permanent secretary ministry of health said the confirmed case is a resident Ngabano village, Madudu sub-county in Mubende district who presented with Ebola symptoms and later died.
Dr. Atwiine added that the samples tested by Uganda Virus Research Institute show that the virus is a Sudan strain.
In a statement released earlier, the World Health Organization also confirmed that the 24-year-old man in Mubende had tested positive for “the relatively rare Sudan strain” of the virus.
“We are working closely with the national health authorities to investigate the source of this outbreak while supporting the efforts to quickly roll out effective control measures,” they added.
While speaking to our reporter, the Kazo District Health Officer, Dr Tweheyo Samuel Kiroha has urged all people to be vigilant and prevent the spread of the disease.
“Human transmission is through body fluids, with the main symptoms being fever, vomiting, bleeding and diarrhea” said Dr. Tweheyo.
Dr. Atwine also called for calm and extra vigilance from Ugandans saying the ministry is working with partners who have instituted preliminary containment measures to control the spread.
First identified in 1976 in the DRC (then Zaire), the virus, whose natural host is the bat, has since set off a series of epidemics in Africa, killing around 15,000 people.
DRC has had more than a dozen epidemics, the deadliest killing 2,280 people in 2020.
Uganda shares a porous border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has experienced several Ebola outbreaks in the past, most recently in 2019, when at least five people died.
Less than six weeks after an epidemic in the country’s northwest was declared over, the DRC last month recorded a new case in the East.
According to WHO, there had been seven previous outbreaks of the Ebola Sudan strain, four in Uganda and three in Sudan.