The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday reported a new incidence of Ebola in Uganda, raising concerns that the virus may be spreading beyond the Democratic Republic of Congo.
According to WHO, a Congolese fisher-woman traveled across the border to sell fish at Mpondwe market last Thursday when she had four vomiting incidents before returning to Congo and dying of Ebola.
The report further said that 19 other fishmongers were listed as possible contacts in the Uganda incident. It said 44 currency exchange workers had volunteered to be vaccinated, while another 590 fishmongers could be targeted for vaccination.
According to WHO, the health response relies on tracking down people who may have been exposed to the virus and vaccinating them and anybody they have had contact with.
‘WHO and its partners work tirelessly to ensure that all travelers are screened for Ebola’ a tweet from WHO African region said.
Uganda shares an 872 km border with #DRC. @WHO & partners work tirelessly to ensure that all travellers are screened for #Ebola at the many official & unofficial crossing points. pic.twitter.com/bUyL6nom3C
— WHO African Region (@WHOAFRO) July 16, 2019
News of the incident came as the WHO’s emergency committee of international experts met for a fourth time to decide if the 11-month outbreak constitutes a “public health emergency of international concern” (PHEIC).
The high-level meeting on Response & Preparedness was attended by Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and Jane Ellison, WHO Executive Director, External Relations & Governance, among others.
The #Ebola response must be a global political & financial priority. Yesterday's high-level meeting in #Geneva was an opportunity to ensure the international community does not turn its gaze but rallies to support #DRC & #Africa in the fight to end the Ebola outbreak. pic.twitter.com/JBUJecDSqM
— Dr Matshidiso Moeti (@MoetiTshidi) July 16, 2019
Ebola is highly infectious and spread through bodily fluids. The current outbreak, largely confined to Congo apart from three deaths in Uganda last month, has killed 1,676 people – more than two thirds of those who contracted it – over the past year.