Uganda declares Ebola outbreak after man dies in first case in a decade

The 24-year-old was found to have contracted the virus after six suspicious deaths in the African country

Permanent secretary of Uganda's Ministry of Health, Diana Atwine, confirms a case of Ebola in the country at a press conference in the capital Kampala on Tuesday. AP
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Health authorities in Uganda have declared an Ebola outbreak after the country confirmed its first case in a decade.

A man in the African country's central Mubende district showed symptoms and later died.

The man, 24, was confirmed to have tested positive for the Sudan strain of the virus. This followed an investigation by the National Rapid Response team into six suspicious deaths elsewhere in the district this month.

There are currently eight suspected Ebola patients receiving care in a health centre.

“This is the first time in more than a decade that Uganda is recording an outbreak of Sudan ebolavirus,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organisation Regional Director for Africa, on Tuesday.

“We are working closely with the national health authorities to investigate the source of this outbreak, while supporting the efforts to quickly roll out effective control measures.

“Uganda is no stranger to effective Ebola control.

“Thanks to its expertise, action has been taken to quickly to detect the virus and we can bank on this knowledge to halt the spread of infections.”

There have been seven previous outbreaks of the Sudan ebolavirus, with four occurring in Uganda and three in Sudan.

Uganda last reported an outbreak of Sudan ebolavirus in 2012.

In 2019, the country experienced an outbreak of Zaire ebolavirus.

The virus was imported from neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo, which was battling a large epidemic in its north-eastern region.

Ebola is rare but severe and is often fatal in humans in about half of those it infects.

The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.

Updated: September 20, 2022, 2:47 PM