Ebola is spread through direct physical contact with body fluids like blood, saliva, stool, vomit, urine, and sweat of an infected person or animal.
Charles Etukuri
Senior Writer @New Vision

UGANDA | HEALTH | MOH | DRC | EBOLA

Uganda’s health ministry yesterday said its staff at all border points in western Uganda had been put on high alert after the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) confirmed a new Ebola case on Monday.

The health minister, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, yesterday said they had already taken several measures, which included heightened surveillance along the border with DR Congo following the resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus.

Aceng, who is in Togo, however, referred New Vision to the director of medical services, Dr. Henry Mwebesa, for details.

However, Mwebesa was also locked up in meetings. However, another official from the ministry, who preferred anonymity, said they had intensified risk communication, re-activation of the Ebola virus disease district task forces, and dispatch of the rapid response teams to Kasese and Kisoro districts that border eastern DR Congo.

On Monday, DRC confirmed a new case of Ebola in its violence-prone east, the country’s health ministry said, just weeks after the end of a previous epidemic. The sample from a 46-year-old woman who died on August 15 in Beni city, North Kivu province, “tested positive” for Ebola, DR Congo’s health ministry said in a statement on Monday.

Last week, the World Health Organisation also said DR Congo was investigating a suspected case. It added that around 160 people have been identified as contact cases.

Facts about Ebola

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Ebola is a highly contagious hemorrhagic fever that causes a range of symptoms, including fever, vomiting, diarrhea, generalized pain or malaise, and, in many cases, internal and external bleeding.

Ebola is an often fatal viral hemorrhagic fever. Mortality rates of the viral disease are extremely high, with the human fatality rate ranging from 50% to 89%, depending on the viral subtype, according to WHO.

The disease was named after a river in Zaire, as the country was known when it was discovered. Human transmission is through body fluids, with the main symptoms being high fever and bleeding through body openings, sudden onset of fever, headache, intense body weakness, muscle pain, sore throat, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, or urine, among others.

Ebola is spread through direct physical contact with body fluids like blood, saliva, stool, vomit, urine, and sweat of an infected person or animal.

It can also be spread through the use of skin-piercing instruments that have been used by an infected person or by touching people or animals that have died from Ebola.

Uganda has had four Ebola outbreaks in 2000, 2014, 2017, and 2018. The biggest and most deadly was in 2000 when 425 cases and 224 deaths were registered.

Uganda’s health ministry has asked the public to immediately report all suspected Ebola cases to the nearest health facility.

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