Uganda Declares Ebola Outbreak

ADDIS ABABA – Uganda today declared an outbreak of Ebola after a case of the Sudan ebolavirus was confirmed in Mubende district in the central part of the country.

The Uganda Virus Research Institute confirmed the case after testing a sample taken from a 24-year-old male.

This follows an investigation into six suspicious deaths that have occurred in the district this month.

There are currently eight suspected cases who are receiving care in a health facility, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, said the WHO is working closely with the national health authorities to investigate the source of the outbreak.

The agency is also “supporting the efforts to quickly roll out effective control measures,” she added.

This is the first time in more than a decade that Uganda is recording an outbreak of Sudan ebolavirus.

“Uganda is no stranger to effective Ebola control. Thanks to its expertise, action has been taken to quickly to detect the virus and we can bank on this knowledge to halt the spread of infections.”

There have been seven previous outbreaks of the Sudan ebolavirus, with four occurring in Uganda and three in Sudan.

Uganda last reported an outbreak of Sudan ebolavirus in 2012. In 2019, the country experienced an outbreak of Zaire ebolavirus.

A ring vaccination of high-risk people with Ervebo (rVSV-ZEBOV) vaccine has been highly effective in controlling the spread of Ebola in recent outbreaks in the DR Congo and elsewhere.

The same vaccine has only been approved to protect against the Zaire virus, according to the WHO.

Ebola is a severe, often fatal illness affecting humans and other primates.

It has six different species, three of which (Bundibugyo, Sudan and Zaire) have previously caused large outbreaks.

Case fatality rates of the Sudan virus have varied from 41% to 100% in past outbreaks. Early initiation of supportive treatment has been shown to significantly reduce deaths from Ebola.

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