Ebola makes much-feared jump into Uganda

Henrietta Brewer
June 12, 2019

The child is now receiving supportive care at the Bwera Ebola Treatment Unit, and all contacts are being followed.

This case is the first confirmed case of Ebola that Uganda has detected during the ongoing outbreak in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The WHO's emergency committee has met twice to weigh whether the DRC's Ebola developments should constitute a public health emergency of global concern (PHEIC).

According to the Twitter thread, the confirmed case is in a 5-year-old Congolese boy who traveled from the DRC into Uganda on June 9, 2019.

In the treatment unit at Bwera the child was diagnosed with Ebola Virus Disease after confirmation was made by the Uganda Virus Institute.

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.

The WHO said: "The Ministry of Health and WHO have dispatched a Rapid Response Team to Kasese to identify other people who may be at risk, and ensure they are monitored and provided with care if they also become ill".

Congo's health ministry in a separate statement said the boy, from Mabalako, arrived on Monday at Congo's Kasindi border post.

Aceng described a robust monitoring system that worked as planned on the border between DRC and Uganda, and said her country had gone from preparedness to "response mode", with this case.

The boy is said to have travelled across the border with his family from DR Congo on Sunday.

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.

World Health Organization has long feared that the lingering Ebola outbreak in the DRC, which has sickened more than 2000 people there and killed about two-thirds of the identified cases, would spread to neighboring countries.

In April, Uganda health workers conducted a simulation to assess preparedness, in the event of Ebola spreading to the country.

The disease is spread mainly through contact with the bodily fluids of those infected.

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