Uganda confirms seven cases of Ebola, one death | Ebola news

Uganda has confirmed seven cases of Ebola as authorities try to trace the contacts of 43 known Ebola patients – two days after the east African country reported an outbreak of the infectious disease.

Among the confirmed cases on Thursday is a 24-year-old man who died this week after developing a high fever, diarrhea and abdominal pain in addition to vomiting blood. After initial treatment for malaria, he was diagnosed with the Sudanese strain of the Ebola virus.

Another seven deaths are being investigated as suspected cases of the strain, for which authorities do not yet have a vaccine, officials said.

“As of today, we have seven confirmed cases, of which we have one confirmed death,” Kyobe Henry Bbosa, Uganda’s Ministry of Health Ebola case manager, told a briefing.

“But we also have seven probable cases that died before the outbreak was confirmed.”

He also spoke of a “rapidly evolving” situation where “we think the cases could rise within a few days.”

Ugandan authorities have yet to find the source of the outbreak, or “patient zero” – the primary key case.

But they were able to pinpoint the epicenter of the outbreak, which is Mubende district in central Uganda, whose main town lies along the highway to the capital, Kampala. That travel connection and several crowded artisanal gold mines are worrisome, Bbosa told the World Health Organization.

Authorities have also been able to confirm a Sudanese-type Ebola outbreak earlier this week after testing a sample from a dead 24-year-old man. Six other people in the same area, including three children, died earlier in September after suffering from what local officials said was a “strange illness”.

Ebola, which is spread by contact with an infected person’s body fluids or contaminated materials, manifests as a fatal hemorrhagic fever. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain, and sometimes internal and external bleeding.

Uganda last reported an outbreak of the Sudanese strain of Ebola in 2012.

The strain is less contagious than Ebola Zaire, WHO epidemiologist for Africa Patrick Otim told a briefing, adding that the strain had a lower death rate in previous outbreaks.

However, Otim said the Sudanese strain poses a greater threat because the world does not yet have a vaccine against it, like the Zaire strain.

“It is very important now that we treat this outbreak as serious because we may not have the advantages that we have had in terms of advances in medical countermeasures,” Otim said.

Mubende is located on the highway from the capital Kampala that connects Uganda to the Democratic Republic of Congo, which Otim says poses a risk of cross-border spread.

In 2019, Uganda experienced the Zaire outbreak of Ebola. The virus was imported from the neighboring DRC, which was battling a major epidemic in its northeastern region.

Scientists do not know the natural reservoir of the virus, but they suspect that the first victim of an Ebola outbreak becomes infected through contact with an infected animal.

Uganda has had several outbreaks of Ebola, including one in 2019 and another in 2000. which killed more than 200 people.

Congo’s 10th Ebola outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces killed more than 2,000 people between 2018 and 2020. During that time, neighboring Uganda reported some cases that authorities said were linked to the Congo outbreak.

Last month, Congolese authorities said a new case of Ebola in the eastern city of Beni was linked to a previous outbreak.