At least eight people are believed to have died of Ebola in Uganda, an official from the Ministry of Health confirmed on Thursday (September 22). Authorities in the East African country announced the Ebola outbreak on Tuesday after a youth died in Mubende in the central region. The origin is not yet known, but it is a strain ” relatively rare “, nicknamed ” Sudanese “. It is less fatal than that detected in the DRC, but vigilance is still required.
For the moment, no vaccine does not exist against the strain ” Sudanese of Ebola. The Ugandan authorities are therefore relying on responsiveness to detect and treat suspected cases as soon as possible. But the mobility of the population of Mubende, home of the epidemicincreases the risk of a possible spread of the virus.
While for the moment we do not know what could have caused the outbreak of this highly contagious disease, the response is being organized to stop the spread of the virus.
Henry Kyobe Bbosa, in charge of the Ebola response at the Ugandan Ministry of Health, spoke Thursday, September 22 during an online press briefing from the World Health Organization (WHO): “ The epicenter is along a highway that comes from South Sudan, passes through Kampala and goes all the way to the DRC. We have therefore expanded our response to 11 districts neighboring the focus of the epidemic. »
Our priority is to find people who have had contact with patients, treat the sick, protect health personnel, and raise awareness in order to stop the spread. There are several hypotheses about the origin of this strain. It could be related to the mango season, because at the end of this season, many children start eating everything they can find. They could have contaminated themselves at that time. But for now, these are just assumptions. The epicenter is in the district of Mubende. And a case has been detected in a neighboring district. With regard to outbreaks of Ebola, a radius of 20 to 30 kilometers is monitored. Even if of course, our field of action extends to the whole country.
Uganda and WHO organize to fight new strain of Ebola
Ugandan officials are trying to trace around 40 people who had contact with the deceased patients. On his side, the WHO has deployed a technical team in Mubende district to support the response. The organization also calls on neighboring countries to remain vigilant:
” The countries of the region, says Patrick Otim, Health Emergencies Officer at the Regional Office for Africaespecially the six countries which are South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, Kenya and Tanzania, need to strengthen their epidemic preparedness and improve their resilience mechanisms to detect any suspected cases and to be able to react effectively. »
Uganda has put in place border control measures aimed at limiting the spread of the virus.