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Uganda confirms Ebola outbreak after man dies of virus

Medical staff of the Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) work in Personal Protective Equipmentat the Bwera General Hospital in Bwera bordering with DRC, western Uganda, on Dec. 2018.   -  
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Uganda confirmed an outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Mubende District (centre of the country) following the death of one patient.

The confirmed case, a 24-year-old man, passed away on Monday. He lived in Mubende district, located 150 kilometres west of the capital Kampala.

Speaking to the media, the Permanent Secretary of the Ugandan Ministry of Health -Dr. Atwine- gave further details: "When he reported to the hospital, he had the symptoms suspected to be Ebola. 

He was isolated, and the sample was taken on the 18th of September. The results came back yesterday evening to confirm the Ebola, the Sudan strain."

Rare strain

It remains unknown how the victim became infected but he was initially treated for other illnesses, including malaria when he sought care in his hometown.

It’s been more than a decade since Uganda’s last record of Sudan strain infection, the WHO said.

The confirmation follows an investigation by the National Rapid Response team of suspicious deaths that have occurred in the district this month.

"In the same village earlier we have got information regarding the community deaths, which our epidemiologists went on the ground to ascertain, the Permanent secretary said. 

Fortunately, they were not confirmed, they were buried. However, the pattern was within the same family three adults and three children."

According to WHO Uganda, eight suspected cases are currently receiving care in a health facility. 

Dr Diana Atwine urged the population to remain calm, hailing Uganda's expertise: "We have the capacity, we have the skills, we have what it takes to contain this Ebola... so we want to ask you to stay calm and let you know that we are going to handle this epidemic precisely."

Ebola spreads through direct contact with the blood, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people.

Authorities in DR Congo which neighbours Uganda said in August a new case of the virus was linked to a previous outbreak.

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