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Uganda confirms seven more cases of Ebola, one death

By Hauwa Ali

Ugandan authorities have confirmed seven more cases of the EbolaVirus, two days after the country announced an outbreak of the contagious disease.

The new cases were confirmed on Thursday and the authorities said trying to trace some 43 other contacts of the Ebola patients.

“As of today, we have seven confirmed cases, of whom we have one confirmed death,” Kyobe Henry Bbosa, Ebola incident commander at the Ugandan Ministry of Health, told a news briefing.

“But also we have seven probable cases that died before the confirmation of the outbreak.” He said.

He also spoke of a “rapidly evolving” situation where “we think cases may rise in a few days”.

While Ugandan authorities are yet to find the source of the outbreak, they are able to pinpoint the epicentre of the outbreak, which is the central Ugandan district of Mubende, whose main town lies along a highway into the capital, Kampala.

Ebola, which is spread by contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person or contaminated materials, manifests as a deadly haemorrhagic fever. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle pain and at times internal and external bleeding.

Uganda last reported an outbreak of the Ebola Sudan strain in 2012.

“It’s very critical at this point that we treat this outbreak as serious, because we may not have the advantage that we have gained in terms of the advancement in medical countermeasures,” an epidemiologist with the WHO in Africa, Patrick Otim said in a briefing.

According to him, though this strain is less transmissible than Ebola Zaire, the Sudan strain posed a greater threat because the world did not yet have a vaccine for it, as it has with the Zaire strain.

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