Published: Wed, June 12, 2019
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Uganda confirms first case of Ebola

Uganda confirms first case of Ebola

A child in Uganda has tested positive for Ebola in the first cross-border case of the deadly virus since an outbreak started in neighbouring Congo past year, Uganda's health ministry said late Tuesday, in a blow to efforts by health workers who for months sought to prevent contamination across the heavily travelled frontier. The child was later transferred to Bwera Hospital Ebola Treatment Unit. The child is the first confirmation since the virus hit DRC.

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According to WHO, people who have been in contact with someone with the disease are offered vaccine and asked to monitor their health for 21 days to ensure they do not become ill as well.

The boy's mother is of Congolese origin but got married to a Ugandan husband and settled in Uganda's western district of Kasese.

The infected child crossed into Uganda with his family in Bwera, near the Congolese city of Butembo.

Results of tests are expected Wednesday. In total eight contacts have been identified and are under close monitoring. The reason for the discrepancy was not immediately clear and neither the World Health Organization nor the government was reachable for clarification.

They were directed to an isolation center, but then six members of the family fled the facility, crossing into Uganda, said the Congolese Health Ministry, which alerted Ugandan authorities of the family's movements.

Uganda has had multiple outbreaks of Ebola and other hemorrhagic fevers since 2000.

When they arrived at Kasindi, 12 members of the group were experiencing symptoms, and they stopped there at a health facility.

Preparing for possible cases of Ebola, Uganda has vaccinated almost 4,700 health workers, disease monitoring has been intensified, special treatment units set up and health workers have been trained to recognize symptoms of the disease, WHO said.

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