Ebola breaks out in Uganda

Health workers walk out of an Ebola isolation ward in Western Uganda in 2007. PHOTO | FILE

 Uganda has registered one case of Ebola in the central Mubende District, high-level government officials briefed on the matter said last night.

The confirmed case is a 24-year-old male, a resident Ngabano village of Madudu Sub County in Mubende District who presented with EVD symptoms and later died, according to Ministry of Health.

Senior Ministry of Health staff rushed to Mubende after unknown number of residents succumbed to what was initially reported as a “strange illness” until yesterday’s confirmation.

“The clinical team took off samples for testing at UVRI. Results confirmed that the patient was positive for the Ebola-Sudan strain.The ministry of Health and partners have dispatched a Rapid Response Team to Mubende District to support the teams in surveillance, contact tracing, and case management,” the Ministry of Health Permanent secretary, Dr Dian Atwine told journalists in Kampala on Tuesday.

The Democratic Republic of Congo, which neighbours Uganda to the west, is currently battling an outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease, previously categorised as a haemorrhagic fever. 
"Uganda has stellar experience in handling outbreaks and epidemics of this nature. The Ministry of Health has dispatched teams to Mubende District to enhance surveillance and community awareness. The public is urged to remain vigilant and calm as teams undertake the necessary action," Dr Atwine added.

According to the World Health Organisation, the disease is transmitted to people from animals and spreads through human-to-human infection.
Uganda has had at least three previous episodes of Ebola Virus Disease, the most deadly being in 2000 that killed hundreds, including its lead treatment Doctor Matthew Lukwiya.


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