MUBENDE: The Ministry of Health has confirmed an outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Mubende District, Uganda.
Addressing journalists in Kampala on Tuesday, the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary, Dr. Diana Atwiine, said the confirmed case is a 24-year-old male a resident of Ngabano village in Madudu Sub County in Mubende District, who presented with EVD symptoms and later succumbed.
“The clinical team took off samples for testing at UVRI. Results confirmed that the patient was positive for the Ebola-Sudan strain,” Dr. Atwiine said.
Sudan’s strain of the Ebola virus, which is rare, was first described in 1977. The disease was then described as the Ebola hemorrhagic fever in 1978 by the WHO, which detailed the virus type in the 1976 outbreak. After the 2002 outbreak, the term was later changed and called the Sudan Ebola virus.
The six known virus species are named for the region where each was originally identified and they are; Bundibugyo ebolavirus, Reston ebolavirus, Sudan ebolavirus, Taï Forest ebolavirus (originally Côte d’Ivoire ebolavirus), Zaire ebolavirus, and Bombali ebolavirus.
Zaire Ebola virus species has the highest mortality rate (60%-90%) followed by the Sudan Ebola virus species (40%-60%).
Dr. Atwiine said the ministry and partners have dispatched a Rapid Response Team to Mubende District to support the teams in surveillance, contact tracing, and case management.
The symptoms of the disease include high temperature, headache, joint and muscle pain, soar throat and severe muscle weakness.
Uganda has often been at risk of Ebola given that the neighbouring DR Congo, whose nationals often cross to Uganda due to conflicts, has had many cases. DR Congo registered a new Ebola case in the country’s North Kivu Province in August.
Statistics from the Office of the Prime Minister indicate that about 300 Congolese refugees cross into Uganda through Bunagana and illegal points on a daily basis.
Information from the World Health Organisation indicates that Uganda has had four Ebola Virus Disease outbreaks in 2000, 2014, 2017, and 2018. The biggest and most deadly was in 2000, which registered 425 cases and 224 deaths.