The first case of Ebola has been confirmed in Uganda amid the current outbreak currently ravishing neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the victim is a five-year-old Congolese child who is receiving care after arriving from DRC.
“The affected child had entered Uganda on June 9 through Bwera Border post. His family sought medical care at Kagando hospital and the child was transferred to Bwera Ebola Treatment Unit for management,” the WHO said in a statement.
“The confirmation was made… by the Uganda Virus Institute (UVRI) …contacts are being monitored,” WHO said.
The health ministry and WHO has sent a team to the western town of Kasese to trace likely cases and vaccinate those who might have come into contact with the patient.
Uganda’s Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng told a news conference that the boy and his relatives, including his mother – a Congolese woman married to a Ugandan man residing in Kasese – had travelled to DRC before returning to Uganda on June 10.
All the other Congolese family members are in isolation at Bwera Hospital. Two of them have already developed symptoms similar to those of Ebola and samples have been removed from them, Aceng said. Results of tests are expected Wednesday. Eight more contacts are being followed up, Aceng said.
Since the epidemic began in August in eastern Congo, the Congo health ministry said on Monday that it had recorded 2,062 cases, including 1,390 deaths.
Uganda has been on high alert since the start of the Ebola outbreak in DRC in August 2018.
According to the WHO, Uganda vaccinated nearly 4,700 health workers in 165 facilities with an experimental drug designed to protect them against the virus.
Uganda’s worst Ebola outbreak was in 2000 when 425 people were infected. More than half of them died.