Confirmed Ebola deaths in Uganda rise to four
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Nairobi, September 24 Confirmed cases of the Ebola outbreak reported in Uganda last Tuesday, September 20, have risen to eleven, including four deaths, the country’s health authorities confirmed to Efe on Saturday.
dr Kyobe Henry Bbosa, Ebola incident commander at the Uganda Ministry of Health, told Efe that three new deaths from the disease have been confirmed since last Thursday.
The total number of deaths registered so far, including the probable but pending confirmation, is 11, “of which eight are in the communities and three in medical facilities,” according to a ministry statement released on Friday.
So far, 58 contacts have been identified and are being followed up by the authorities.
Uganda on Tuesday declared an Ebola outbreak after confirming a case in Mubende district (centre) in which a 24-year-old man died from the disease caused by the virus.
Ugandan authorities confirmed the case, which matches the unusual strain from Sudan, after testing a sample taken from the man and conducting an inquest into six suspected deaths that occurred in the district this month.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there have been seven previous outbreaks of the Ebola strain from Sudan, four in Uganda and three in Sudan.
Uganda last reported an Ebola outbreak in 2012 from this strain, for which there is no approved vaccine, unlike the Zaire strain, which has been recorded in epidemics of the disease in neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
In 2019, Uganda experienced an outbreak of the Zairian tribe, which saw the virus imported from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which was then battling a major epidemic in its northeastern region.
There are differences between the two strains: the one from Sudan is not only less transmissible, but also has a lower mortality rate (between 40% and 100%) than that from Zaire (70% – 100%).
Countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Somalia are on high alert to prevent any possible spread of the virus.
Discovered in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo – then called Zaire – Ebola is a serious, often fatal disease that affects humans and other primates and is transmitted through direct contact with the blood and body fluids of infected humans or animals.
This fever causes heavy bleeding and its first symptoms are sudden and high fever, severe weakness and muscle pain, headache, sore throat and vomiting.
It has six distinct strains, three of which (Bundibugyo, Sudan and Zaire) have previously caused major epidemics like the one that swept West Africa in 2014-2016, when 11,300 people died and there were more than 28,500 cases. EFE