Ebola breaks out in Uganda, kills one

A medical officer prepares for an Ebola procedure. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Uganda has registered one case of Ebola in the central Mubende District, high-level government officials briefed on the matter said Monday night.

The announcement of the outbreak, which is considered sensitive due to its likely negative impact on tourism, was made this morning. 

"Uganda confirms an outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Mubende District, Uganda.  The confirmed case is a 24-year-old male a resident Ngabano village of Madudu Sub County in Mubende District presented with EVD symptoms and later succumbed," the health ministry said.

Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng was reported to be in New York, and sources said officials first briefed President Museveni. 

Senior Ministry of Health staff rushed to Mubende after an unknown number of residents succumbed to what was initially reported as a “strange illness” until yesterday’s confirmation.

The Democratic Republic of Congo, which neighbours Uganda to the west, is currently battling an outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease, previously categorised as a hemorrhagic fever. 

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the disease is transmitted to people from animals and spreads through human-to-human infection.

Uganda has had at least three previous episodes of Ebola Virus Disease, the most deadly being in 2000 that killed hundreds, including its lead treatment specialist,  Dr Matthew Lukwiya.

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