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Six new cases of Ebola in Uganda, WHO says & More Breaking News

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“So far, seven cases, including one death, have been confirmed to have contracted Ebola virus from Sudan”the WHO said in a statement, referring to a rare strain of the virus. “Forty-three contacts have been identified and 10 people suspected of having contracted the virus are receiving treatment at the regional referral hospital in Mubende”according to the UN organization.

“Our experts are already on the ground working with Uganda’s experienced Ebola teams to strengthen surveillance, diagnosis, treatment and preventive measures”, said Abdou Salam Gueye, regional director of emergencies at the WHO Regional Office for Africa. So far, the only death has been recorded in Mubende district, in the center of the country, about 150 kilometers west of the capital Kampala.

Uganda has previously experienced outbreaks of Ebola, a disease that has claimed thousands of lives across Africa since its discovery in 1976 in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo. The last cases recorded in the country date from 2019, with at least five deaths, after the “virus was imported from the DRC which was fighting against a major epidemic in its north-eastern region” according to the WHO. In a previous outbreak in 2000, 200 people died.

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A case of Ebola was also reported in August in the Congolese province of North Kivu, bordering Rwanda and Uganda, less than six weeks after an outbreak in eastern DRC – the 14th in the country’s history – had been declared complete. Ebola virus disease is often fatal, but vaccines and treatments now exist against this hemorrhagic fever, which is transmitted to humans by infected animals.

Human transmission is through body fluids, with the main symptoms being fever, vomiting, bleeding and diarrhoea. Infected people only become contagious after the onset of symptoms, after an incubation period ranging from 2 to 21 days. The disease has six different strains, three of which (Bundibugyo, Sudan, Zaire) have already caused major epidemics.

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