Health officials confirmed two more cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Uganda on Wednesday, June 12, bringing the total number of cases in the country to three. According to authorities, two of the patients have died. All three cases are from one family and are located in Bwera (Kasese district, Western region) and the Ministry of Health is tracking eight others who have been in contact with them. The government also banned mass gatherings in the area, including market days and communal prayers. Enhanced health screenings at airports and other ports of entry are also in effect.
There remains a risk of cross-border transmission from the DRC give the region's high level of insecurity, porous borders, and transient population. Further spread of the disease in Uganda is possible in the coming days and weeks.
An EVD outbreak is ongoing in the neighboring DRC provinces of North Kivu and Ituri. The outbreak, which began in August 2018, has resulted in more than 2000 cases and 1400 deaths.
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.
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.
Copyright and Disclaimer