Uganda Confirms Ebola Outbreak After Recording First Casualty

The World Health Organization and the government of Uganda have announced an Ebola outbreak following the death of one patient in the Mubende District of the country.

The confirmed case, a 24-year-old man, passed away on Monday, days after contracting a rare Sudan strain of the virus, the government and the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

This is the first case of the Sudan strain in Uganda since its last appearance in 2012 in the Kibaale district, western Uganda. A death toll of 17 was reported in July and August 2012, with a total of 24 probable and confirmed cases recorded, of which 11 were laboratory confirmed by the Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe in that same year.

Case fatality rates of the Sudan virus have varied from 41%to 100% in past outbreaks, the global health agency added.

There are currently eight suspected cases receiving care in a health facility, the WHO’s Africa office said in a statement, adding that it was helping Uganda’s health authorities with their investigation and deploying staff to the affected area.

The government has shared that the treatment course could likely be the Ervebo vaccine had been highly effective in controlling the spread of Ebola in recent outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and elsewhere but that this vaccine had only been approved to protect against the Zaire strain.

First identified in 1976 in the DRC (then Zaire), the virus, whose natural host is the bat, has since set off a series of epidemics in Africa, killing some 15,000 people.

Patsy Nwogu

Reporting on data-driven featured stories and investigations.

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