On Tuesday, June 11, health officials confirmed the first case of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Kasese district. According to Ugandan Minister of Health Jane Ruth Aceng, a 5-year old patient had been isolated in a hospital in Kasese in an attempt to prevent the spread of the disease. Authorities will also begin administering EVD vaccines to close contacts of the patient and health workers beginning on Friday, June 14.
There remains a risk of regional transmission give the region's high level of insecurity, porous borders, transient population, and continued attacks on treatment centers and health workers.
EVD is extremely virulent. The disease is transmitted to humans via direct contact with the blood, secretions, organs, or other bodily fluids of infected animals. The disease can then be transmitted between humans and is highly contagious, particularly during the hemorrhagic phase. Ebola is characterized by the sudden onset of high fever, weakness, joint and muscle pain, and headache. A sore throat is also a common early symptom. These symptoms are followed by nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, rashes, kidney and liver failure, and, in some cases, internal and external bleeding.
An EVD outbreak is ongoing in neighboring North Kivu and Ituri provinces of the DRC. The total number of confirmed cases in DRC as of June 5 is 2031; the outbreak has resulted in 1367 deaths.
Travelers should avoid the above areas and monitor the situation. To prevent the spread of EVD:
- Avoid contact with infected individuals and any items that have been in their close proximity;
- Avoid consuming bush meat and only handle animals when wearing gloves and the appropriate protective wear;
- Animal products (meat and blood) should be thoroughly cooked before consumption;
- Adhere to a strict observance of hygienic precautions (e.g. wash hands regularly, etc.);
- Avoid crowded areas (e.g. stadiums, markets, train stations, etc.).
In case of doubt, individuals should seek immediate medical attention and comply with all directives issued by local health authorities.
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