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Uganda Declares Ebola Virus outbreak

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Uganda health officials on Tuesday declared another outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease following the confirmation of a case of the Sudan ebolavirus confirmed in Mubende district in the central part of the country.

ebola patient runs away from treatment centre

The case was confirmed after Uganda Virus Research Institute tested a sample taken from a 24-year-old man. This follows an investigation 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.

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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.

The case fatality rates of the Sudan virus have varied from 41 per cent to 100 per cent in past outbreaks. Early initiation of supportive treatment has been shown to significantly reduce deaths from Ebola.

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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. In 2019, the country experienced an outbreak of Zaire ebolavirus. The virus was imported from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo which was battling a large epidemic in its northeastern region.

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WHO is helping Ugandan health authorities with the investigation and is deploying staff to the affected area. The Organization has dispatched supplies to support the care of patients and is sending a tent that will be used to isolate patients.

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