Ebola Case Confirmed in Uganda

Baz Ratner  Reuters FILE

Uganda's health ministry says a patient has tested positive for Ebola in what is the first cross-border case of the deadly virus since an outbreak started in neighbouring Congo past year.

The Congolese boy crossed into Uganda on June 9 with his family through the Bwera border post, World Health Organization said in a statement.

The family had crossed the border seeking medical care at a local hospital, and Ebola was identified as a possible source of the boy's symptoms.

Uganda's health ministry said the boy and his relatives, including his mother - a Congolese woman married to a Ugandan man residing in Kasese - had travelled to DRC before returning to Uganda on June 10.

The north-eastern region of Neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo has been battling to control an Ebola outbreak since August 1 2018. The child was later transferred to Bwera Hospital Ebola Treatment Unit.

Uganda has experienced several outbreaks in the past, most recently in 2012, while in 2000 more than 200 people died in an outbreak in the north of the country.

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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.

Uganda has vaccinated almost 4,700 health workers, WHO said. "The confirmation was made today by the #Uganda Virus Institute (UVRI)".

Uganda has already vaccinated about 4,700 health workers against the disease, the joint statement by WHO and Ugandan health officials said.

For the simulation, health workers established primary and secondary screening checkpoints at points of entry in the provinces, established an Ebola treatment unit in Bwera, and formed village health teams that were tasked with identifying suspected cases and disseminating educational information. Health workers have regularly come under attack.

On Twitter, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus, PhD, said the WHO was "contacting members of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee & asking them to be on standby".

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