Uganda confirms first Ebola case outside outbreak in Congo

  • Uganda confirms first Ebola case outside outbreak in Congo

Uganda confirms first Ebola case outside outbreak in Congo

The boy is said to have travelled across the border with his family from DR Congo on Sunday.

"In preparation for a possible imported case during the current outbreak in DRC, Uganda has vaccinated almost 4,700 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", the joint statement said, using an abbreviated form of Congo's formal name. A World Health Organization statement said he entered on Sunday with his family through the Bwera border post. He was then transferred to an Ebola treatment unit-where the health care workers already have been vaccinated-in nearby Bwera.

Uganda has had multiple outbreaks of Ebola since 2000.

Nearly 1,400 people have died of the disease since August. The provinces sit on the eastern side of the country, bordering South Sudan, Uganda, and Rwanda. It is the second largest Ebola outbreak on record, surpassed only by the 2014 West African outbreak, which involved more than 28,000 cases and 11,000 deaths.

The Ebola virus that has stubbornly lingered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2018 has finally jumped the border, sickening a 5-year-old boy in Uganda. Uganda officials found the family members at the Kagando hospital, where the boy's Ebola case was confirmed.

The country's health ministry and WHO say they have dispatched a rapid response team to identify others at risk, a joint statement said. Congo has been experiencing an outbreak since last summer. Health workers have been trained to recognize the disease, and almost 4,700 health care workers in 165 health facilities have been vaccinated against the disease with an experimental inoculation that has been effective at preventing widespread transmission in Congo.

This is the 10th outbreak in Congo since 1976.