Deadly Ebola Virus Outbreak In Uganda

Ebola is a rare and deadly disease in people and nonhuman primates. People can get ebola through direct contact with an infected animal (bat or nonhuman primate) or a sick or dead person infected with Ebola virus.
Medical personnel carrying samples
| Photo Credit: newslink

Different reports by the Ministry of Health and authorities in Uganda confirm the outbreak of Ebola after a case of the Sudan strike Ebola virus was established in Mubende district in the central part of the country. 

The Uganda Virus Institute confirmed the case after testing a sample from a 24-year-old male. This follows an investigation by the National Rapid Response team of six suspicious deaths in the district this month. There are currently eight suspected cases who are receiving care in the facility. 

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

 Globally, there have been seven earlier Ebola Sudan outbreaks, four in Uganda and three in Sudan, with the most recent in Uganda in 2012.

Uganda has had four Ebola Virus Disease (E.D.V.) outbreaks in 2000, 2014, 2017 and 2018. The most significant and deadly was in 2000, registering 425 cases and 224 deaths.

In 2019, Uganda battled a small Ebola Zaire outbreak related to an imported case in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, fighting a large epidemic in its northeastern region. 

“We are working closely with the national health authorities to investigate the source of the outbreak while supporting the efforts to roll out effective control measures quickly’ ‘, said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organisation regional director for Africa. Uganda is no stranger to effective Ebola control. Thanks to its expertise, action has been taken quickly to detect the virus, and we can bank on this knowledge to halt the spread of the infections”. 

Ebola is a severe, often fatal illness affecting humans and other primates. It has six species, three of which ( Bundigyo, Sudan and Zaire) have previously caused large outbreaks. Case fatality rates of the Sudan virus have varied from 41% to 100% in past episodes. Early initiation of supportive treatment has been shown to reduce deaths from Ebola significantly. 

W.H.O. is helping Ugandan health authorities with the investigation and is deploying staff to the affected area. The organisation has dispatched supplies to support the care of patients and is sending a tent that will be used to isolate patients. 

While ring vaccination of high-risk people with the Ervebo (rVSV-ZEBOV) vaccine has been highly effective in controlling the spread of Ebola in recent outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo and elsewhere, this vaccine has only been approved to protect against the Zaire virus. Another vaccine produced by Johnson and Johnson may be effective but has yet to be tested against Ebola Sudan. 

Before this, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng revealed that a female aged ten months old from Kilwani village, Kiruma, who died on September 11 at St. Florence medical Clinic; a male aged 32 years enrolled nurse at St. Florence Medical Clinic in Madudu who passed on September 15 from Cure medical clinic in Mubende town and a female, old 43 years from Bulega, Kiruma who died on September 1 at Mubende Referal hospital all recorded this month.

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