Uganda confirms first Ebola case in Kasese

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UNICEF staff members stand as they practise disinfecting themselves while carrying out infection prevention and control training in Juba, South Sudan on February 21, 2019. - The training exercises have been implemented while the threat of Ebola reaching the country remains high with around 460 people having been killed by the virus across the border in DRC. (Photo by ALEX MCBRIDE / AFP) (Photo credit should read ALEX MCBRIDE/AFP/Getty Images)
Health workers escort a new unconfirmed Ebola patient to Ebola treatment center. (Getty Images)

Uganda’s Ministry of Health on Tuesday confirmed the country’s first case of Ebola following the latest outbreak of the virus to hit neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

The ministry said the confirmed case is a five-year-old boy who has been admitted and isolated at Bwera Hospital’s Ebola treatment unit.

Uganda borders the DR Congo, which is currently experiencing the second largest Ebola outbreak globally after the one that hit West Africa in 2014 killing more than 11,000 people.

The current outbreak has killed 1,384 people. There have been a total of 2,056 Ebola cases while 1,962 confirmed and 94 probable cases have been reported.

Efforts to tackle the crisis in the DR Congo have been hampered both by militia attacks on treatment centres, in which some staff have been killed, and by the hostility of some local people to the medical teams.

In April, Uganda hosted an International Partnership Strengthening meeting to offer a joint road-map to support readiness interventions in 9 high-risk countries neighbouring the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The countries are Angola, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia.

Uganda’s Ministry of Health said then that a series of activities were already underway in the country in preparation for a response to any case.

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