Uganda confirms first Ebola case outside outbreak in Congo

Leslie Hanson
June 12, 2019

He was then transferred to an Ebola treatment unit-where the health care workers already have been vaccinated-in nearby Bwera.

A five-year-old boy has tested positive for Ebola in Uganda, the first cross-border case since an outbreak began in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo last year, the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced.

According to an update posted by the DRC's minister of health today, the boy was traveling with 14 family members, 12 of whom were symptomatic, when they were detected by the teams of the National Border Health Program (PNHF) installed at Kasindi health checkpoint at the Ugandan border.

In April a WHO expert committee decided that the outbreak, while of "deep concern", was not yet a global health emergency.

Worldwide spread of a disease as contagious as Ebola is one of the major criteria WHO considers before declaring a situation to be a global health emergency.

Officials from the two countries will meet on Wednesday about the possibility of sending the family back to Beni in Congo for treatment, the health ministry said.

In the treatment unit at Bwera the child was diagnosed with Ebola Virus Disease after confirmation was made by the Uganda Virus Institute. The Ugandan Ministry of Health and the WHO have dispatched a rapid response team to the area.

Aceng described a robust monitoring system that worked as planned on the border between DRC and Uganda, and said her country had gone from preparedness to "response mode", with this case.

A case of Ebola has been confirmed in western Uganda, the first instance in Congo's year-long outbreak in which the deadly virus has been identified outside the country.

Uganda accepts refugees from Congo, and many health workers felt that despite their best efforts, spread of the virus to Uganda had just been a matter of time.

"The spread of Ebola across the global border is a clear signal that the worldwide community must reset and redouble its efforts" in fighting the disease, the worldwide Rescue Committee said in a statement calling itself "extremely alarmed".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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