DRC Ebola Outbreak Spread Across Border; Uganda Confirms First Ebola Case

After numerous previous false alerts, the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization
(WHO) have announced the first confirmed case of Ebola Virus Disease in Uganda during the Ebola
outbreak on-going in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The DRC Ebola outbreak with 1.977 confirmed cases and 1.396 deaths since Aug. 1, 2018, currently ongoing in an active conflict zone in the northeast region of North Kivu has now spread across the Uganda border.

The confirmed case is a 5-year-old child from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who
travelled with his family on 9th June 2019. The child and his family entered the country
through Bwera Border post and sought medical care at Kagando hospital where health
workers identified Ebola as a possible cause of illness.

The child was transferred to Bwera Ebola Treatment Unit for management. The confirmation was made today by the Uganda Virus Institute (UVRI). The child is under care and receiving supportive treatment at Bwera ETU, and contacts are being monitored.

The Response

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. Uganda has previous experience managing Ebola outbreaks.
In preparation for a possible imported case during the current outbreak in DRC, Uganda
has vaccinated nearly 4700 health workers in 165 health facilities (including in the facility where the child is being cared for); disease monitoring has been intensified, and health
workers trained on recognizing symptoms of the disease. Ebola Treatment Units are in
place.

In response to this case, the Ministry is intensifying community education, psychosocial
support and will undertake vaccination for those who have come into contact with the
patient and at-risk health workers who were not previously vaccinated.

People who have been in contact with someone with the disease are offered vaccine and
asked to monitor their health for 21 days to ensure they do not become ill as well.
The investigational vaccine being used in DRC and by health and frontline workers in
Uganda has so far been effective in protecting people from developing the disease, and
has helped those who do develop the disease to have a better chance of survival.

The Ministry strongly urges those who are identified as contacts to take this protective
measure. Investigational therapeutics and advanced supportive care, along with patients seeking
care early once they have symptoms, increase chances of survival.

There are no confirmed cases in any other parts of the country. The Ministry is working with international partners coordinated by the World Health Organization.

The Ministry of Health appeals to the general public and health workers to work together closely, to be vigilant and support each other in helping anyone with symptoms to receive care quickly. The Ministry will continue to update the general public on progress and new developments.

 

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