Friday, September 30, 2022

Uganda Confirms Case Of Ebola Virus Disease

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Uganda Virus Research Institute has confirmed a case of Ebola virus in Mubende district in the central part of the country.

Following confirmation of the Sudan variant of the virus, health authorities in the country declared an outbreak of the virus decades after it was recorded.

The confirmation came after testing a sample taken from a 24-year-old male following investigations by the National Rapid Response team of six suspicious deaths that have occurred in the district this month.

There are currently eight suspected cases who are receiving care in a health facility.

World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said they are working closely with the national health authorities to investigate the source of the outbreak while supporting the efforts to quickly roll out effective control measures.

According to the Regional Director, Uganda is no stranger to effective Ebola control and thanks to its expertise, action has been taken to quickly to detect the virus which can bank on the knowledge to halt the spread of infections.

There have been seven previous outbreaks of the Sudan ebolavirus, with four occurring in Uganda and three in Sudan.

Uganda last reported an outbreak of Sudan ebolavirus in 2012 and in 2019, the country experienced an outbreak of Zaire ebolavirus that was imported from neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo which was battling a large epidemic in its north-eastern region.

WHO is helping Ugandan health authorities with the investigation and is deploying staff to the affected area.

The Organization has also dispatched supplies to support the care of patients and is sending a tent that will be used to isolate patients.

WHO, however, stressed that while ring vaccination of high-risk people with Ervebo (rVSV-ZEBOV) vaccine has been highly effective in controlling the spread of Ebola in recent outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and elsewhere, the vaccine has only been approved to protect against the Zaire virus.

Another vaccine produced by Johnson and Johnson may be effective but has yet to be specifically tested against Ebola Sudan.

Ebola is a severe, often fatal illness affecting humans and other primates.

It has six different species, three of which (Bundibugyo, Sudan and Zaire) have previously caused large outbreaks.

Case fatality rates of the Sudan virus have varied from 41% to 100% in past outbreaks.

Early initiation of supportive treatment has been shown to significantly reduce deaths from Ebola.

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