Ebola spreads to Uganda

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The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has spread to Uganda, where a five-year-old child has tested positive for the disease.

This represents the first case confirmed in Uganda and Ugandan Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng tweeted about the country’s response: “Uganda has been in preparedness mode ever since the Ebola outbreak was declared in DRC. Now, we move into response mode. Please co-operate with our health, immigration and security officials to ensure effective screening to prevent spread of Ebola to other parts of the country.”

Dr Aceng said that the boy has been isolated with family members at a hospital in a western district near to the Congo border. He is believed to have travelled across the border with his family from DCR and was taken to hospital after exhibiting symptoms consistent with Ebola infection. The Uganda Virus Institute confirmed the diagnosis earlier this week and it was then announced by officials. “The confirmation was made today by the Uganda Virus Institute (UVRI). The child is under care and receiving supportive treatment at Bwera ETU (Ebola treatment unit), and contacts are being monitored,” she tweeted.

This news follows close on the heels of a WHO Ebola update in which it was stated that the outbreak in the DRC had reached 2,025 cases. Travellers to areas affected by Ebola should practise ‘enhanced precautions’ as per the Level 2 Alert issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.