Uganda races to halt outbreak of Ebola, with seven cases, one death reported so far
Two days after announcing an outbreak of Ebola, Uganda has confirmed seven cases of the contagious disease, as authorities try to track down 43 contacts of known Ebola patients
The authorities in the East African country are also investigating seven other deaths as suspected cases of a strain for which they do not have a vaccine. Kyobe Henry Bbosa, Ebola incident commander at the Ugandan Ministry of Health, speaks of a “rapidly evolving” situation where “we think cases may rise in a few days”. Ugandan authorities have not yet found the source of the outbreak, or “patient zero” – the key first case. But they were able to pinpoint the epicenter of the outbreak, which is the central Ugandan district of Mubende, whose main town lies along a highway into the capital, Kampala. Authorities have also been able to confirm an Ebola outbreak of the Sudan type earlier this week.
Ebola, which is spread by contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person or contaminated materials, manifests as a deadly hemorrhagic fever. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain and at times internal and external bleeding. Uganda last reported an outbreak of the Ebola Sudan strain in 2012. The Ebola Sudan strain is considered to be less transmissible than Ebola Zaire and the strain also had a lower fatality rate in previous outbreaks. However, Otim said the Sudan strain posed a greater threat because the world did not yet have a vaccine for it, as it has with the Zaire strain.