Wednesday, 12 August, 2020

Uganda confirms first Ebola case outside outbreak in Congo

Ebola spreads to Uganda in its first cross-border case since outbreak SPREAD Uganda has confirmed its first cross-border case of Ebola
Gustavo Carr | 12 June, 2019, 04:35

Health officials in Uganda have confirmed the country's first case of Ebola stemming from a massive outbreak that has been raging across the border in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since August of 2018.

A 5-year-old Congolese boy was diagnosed with the virus in Uganda, the country's Ministry of Health and WHO said.

In April an expert committee of the WHO decided that Congo's outbreak, while of "deep concern", was not yet a global health emergency.

Worldwide spread of a disease as contagious as Ebola is one of the major criteria WHO considers before declaring a situation to be a global health emergency. He sought treatment at Kagando hospital and was transferred to Bwera Ebola treatment unit, World Health Organization said. "The confirmation was made today by the #Uganda Virus Institute (UVRI)".

The country's health ministry and WHO say they have dispatched a rapid response team to identify others at risk, a joint statement said.

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It was not immediately clear how the family members were able to cross the border, where millions have travellers have been screened for Ebola since the outbreak began.

The outbreak is both the second largest and second deadliest Ebola outbreak in history. Health care workers have widely deployed an effective Ebola vaccine in the affected DRC areas and intensively worked to contain cases, but their response has repeatedly been hampered by violence from the many insurgency groups, including attacks on health care workers and facilities.

"The spread of Ebola across the global border is a clear signal that the worldwide community must reset and redouble its efforts" in fighting the disease, the worldwide Rescue Committee said in a statement calling itself "extremely alarmed".