By Spy Uganda
Uganda’s neighbours have upped the surveillance within their borders to prevent a potential influx of Ebola virus into the country after Uganda declared an outbreak.
Sudan’s national ministry of health and the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the activation of the Ebola management systems on Tuesday to this effect.
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Representative in South Sudan, Fabian Ndenzako, said that the activation of the alert system means that all the pillars of response will be working and all the teams that are involved will make sure that they can prepare and also respond.
“We don’t have a case in South Sudan, but given the proximity, we have to prepare.” This is not the first time we are activating an incident management system for Ebola.”
The Ugandan Ministry of Health and the country’s World Health Organization office revealed that an Ebola Virus case of the Sudan strain was confirmed in Mubende District in the central part of the country on Tuesday.
The Uganda Virus Research Institute confirmed the case after testing a sample from a 24-year-old male. This follows a National Rapid Response team’s investigation into six suspicious deaths in the district this month. There are currently eight suspected cases being treated in a hospital.
Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, said that this was the first time in more than a decade that Uganda is recording an outbreak of Sudan ebolavirus.
“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,” he said.
The Sudan ebolavirus has previously caused seven outbreaks: four in Uganda and three in Sudan. Uganda last reported a Sudan ebola virus outbreak in 2012. The country was hit by an outbreak of the Zaire ebolavirus in 2019. The virus was brought in from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo, where a large epidemic was raging in the northeastern region.
WHO is assisting Ugandan health authorities with the investigation and has dispatched personnel to the affected area. The organization has sent supplies to help with patient care, as well as a tent that will be used to isolate patients.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, which borders Uganda to the west, is currently fighting an Ebola virus disease outbreak, which was previously classified as a hemorrhagic fever.
Ebola is a fatal disease that affects humans and other primates. It has six different species, three of which have previously caused large outbreaks (Bundibugyo, Sudan, and Zaire).