One case of Ebola confirmed in Uganda

Alicia Farmer
June 12, 2019

One case of the Ebola virus has been confirmed in Uganda, the World Health Organisation said on Tuesday.

The health agency said in a statement on Tuesday that the boy had travelled with family from the DRC to Uganda on June 9.

The north-eastern region of Neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo has been battling to control an Ebola outbreak since August 1 2018. He was then transferred to an Ebola treatment unit-where the health care workers already have been vaccinated-in nearby Bwera.

The WHO said: "The Ministry of Health and WHO have dispatched a Rapid Response Team to Kasese to identify other people who may be at risk, and ensure they are monitored and provided with care if they also become ill".

According to the WHO, Uganda vaccinated almost 4,700 health workers in 165 facilities with an experimental drug created to protect them against the virus.

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To prepare for the possibility of imported cases, Uganda has already vaccinated almost 4,700 health workers against Ebola and disease monitoring programs are in place, the WHO said.

For the simulation, health workers established primary and secondary screening checkpoints at points of entry in the provinces, established an Ebola treatment unit in Bwera, and formed village health teams that were tasked with identifying suspected cases and disseminating educational information. The Uganda Virus Institute confirmed the diagnosis Thursday, according to a press release from the WHO. Health workers have been trained to recognize the disease, and almost 4,700 health care workers in 165 health facilities have been vaccinated against the disease with an experimental inoculation that has been effective at preventing widespread transmission in Congo. Health workers have regularly come under attack.

On Twitter, Jane Ruth Aceng, MD, the minister of health for Uganda, posted a statement on the case, describing the boy's mother as being Congolese, and having recently taken care of the boy's grandfather in the DRC.

Worldwide spread of a disease as contagious as Ebola is one of the major criteria WHO considers before declaring a situation to be a global health emergency.

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