The Ebola outbreak declared on September 20 in Uganda has already accumulated 64 confirmed cases, including 25 deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported Thursday.
“Today marks one month since the last Ebola outbreak was declared in Uganda. With 64 confirmed casesthree of whom traveled to the capital, Kampala, and 25 confirmed deathsthe situation on the ground is evolving rapidly,” said WHO Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti.
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In a telematic press conference, Moeti indicated that about 2,000 people identified as contacts of Ebola patients are supervised by health authorities.
The director admitted “challenging situation” of the epidemic of the disease, which he defined as a “major public health concern”, but stressed that surveillance “has been expanded”, which makes it possible to follow contacts with infected people.
“As always, community engagement is critical to building trust, cooperation and understanding that these measures are to protect and save lives,” Moeti said.
In another press conference, the interim director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC, dependent on the African Union), Ahmed Ogwell, pointed out that the current figures “imply a risk of spread in the country and its neighbors”, but do not require “full emergency” measures.
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”The risk is there, but it is a manageable risk”, stressed Ogwell, whose agency works with Uganda and neighboring countries to keep the outbreak under control.
Last Saturday, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni announced a 21-day lockdown and other restrictions in two districts in the center of the country, Mubende and Kasanda, to contain the epidemic.
Uganda declared the Ebola outbreak on September 20 after confirming a case in Mubende, where a 24-year-old man died of the disease caused by this virus, specifically the unusual strain from Sudan.
Unlike the Zairean strain, recorded in epidemics of the disease in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), there is still no approved vaccine for this strain.
In addition, the Sudan strain is not only less transmissible but also has lower mortality than the Zaire strain.
Last week, a patient who had fled Mubende to seek treatment from a traditional healer ended up dying in a Kampala hospital, marking the first death from the virus in the Ugandan capital, although it was an imported case and therefore , the city is still considered free of the disease.
countries like the DRC, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Somalia They’re in alert to prevent possible spread of the virus.
Discovered in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – then called Zaire – Ebola is a serious, often fatal disease that affects humans and other primates and is transmitted by direct contact with the blood and body fluids of people. or infected animals.
It causes severe bleeding and its first symptoms are sudden and high fever, severe weakness, and muscle, head, and throat pain, as well as vomiting.
The virus ravaged several West African countries from 2014 to 2016, when 11,300 people died and there were more than 28,500 cases.
(with information from EFE)
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