Uganda declares Ebola outbreak after finding rare Sudanese strain

An Ebola outbreak has been declared in Uganda after health authorities confirmed a case of the relatively rare strain from Sudan, the health ministry and the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.

A 24-year-old man from Mubende Central District in Uganda developed symptoms and later died.

“We want to inform the country that we have an outbreak of Ebola which we confirmed yesterday,” Diana Atwine, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Health, said at a press conference.

She said the patient with the confirmed case had high fever, diarrhea and abdominal pain and was vomiting blood. He had first been treated for malaria.

There are currently eight suspected cases receiving treatment at a health facility, the WHO Africa office said in a statement, adding that it was assisting Ugandan health authorities in their investigation and deploying staff to the affected area. .

“Uganda is no stranger to effective control of Ebola. With their expertise, steps have been taken to detect the virus early and we can rely on this knowledge to stop the spread of infections,” Matshidiso said. Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

The WHO said there had been seven previous outbreaks of the Ebola strain Sudan, four in Uganda and three in Sudan.

He said Uganda last reported an Ebola strain Sudan outbreak in 2012 and an Ebola Zaire strain outbreak in 2019.

The WHO said ring vaccination of people at high risk with the Ervebo vaccine had been very effective in controlling the spread of Ebola during recent outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo and elsewhere, but that this vaccine had not been approved only to protect against the Zaire strain.

Another vaccine produced by Johnson & Johnson could be effective but has not yet been specifically tested against the Sudanese strain, he added.

(Reuters)

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