Health officials in Uganda have confirmed that the last known Ebola patient in Uganda has been discharged from the hospital, raising hope that the outbreak could end sooner than previously thought.
Uganda’s latest outbreak has recorded 142 infections and 56 deaths since it first made news in September 2022.
The Ebola outbreak was first confirmed in September to be caused by the Sudan strain of the virus, which kills 40 to 60 percent of those it infects and for which there is no proven vaccine.
However, the Ugandan government was able to contain the spread by imposing travel restrictions, an overnight curfew and shut places of worship and entertainment. Contacts of infected persons were also brought into hospitals to be quarantined and monitored for the 21-day infection-clearing period.
In late November, President Yoweri Museveni extended the quarantine period placed on two districts at the epicentre of the outbreak by 21 days, following an announcement of a downward trend in the number of cases by the Health Minister, Jane Ruth Aceng.
Ebola causes vomiting, bleeding and diarrhoea and spreads through contact with infected people’s bodily fluids. The virus can sometimes linger in the eyes, central nervous system and bodily fluids of survivors and flare up years later.
While Uganda is celebrating its victory against the virus, according to a tweet by the health ministry, monitoring epicentres of the virus would continue while waiting for the 42-day mark of being Ebola-free, according to the ministry.
The World Health Organization says a country needs to go 42 days – twice the maximum incubation period – after its last confirmed case to be declared Ebola-free.