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Uganda: Ebola death toll climbs to 19, five medical staff recover

R- Jane Ruth Aceng, Ugandan minister of Health   -  
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The new Ebola outbreak in Uganda has killed 19 people, the Ministry of Health in Kampala said Tuesday.

The ministry of health also said five medical staff members that contracted Ebola from treating the first confirmed case in the east African nation in September have recovered and been discharged from an isolation unit in Entebbe. 

The country's health minister Jane Ruth Aceng added that five affected districts have seen "54 cumulative confirmed cases", with 19 deaths and 20 recoveries.

The Ugandan government is counting only deaths among confirmed patients, according to the ministry.

Ebola is often fatal, but vaccines and treatments are now available for hemorrhagic fever, which is transmitted to humans by infected animals.

The previous death toll from the Ugandan authorities, released on October 5, was 10. and October 10, was 17.

The first cases were reported in Mubende district, in the center of the country, before the epidemic, confirmed by the authorities on September 20, spread to the neighboring districts of Kassanda, Kyegegwa, and Kagadi.

According to WHO, the first identified death from the outbreak (and the first person to die from the disease in Uganda since 2019) succumbed to a "relatively rare" strain of Ebola virus, known as Sudanese, which had not been reported in the Great Lakes country since 2012.

President Yoweri Museveni ruled out containment in late September, saying the country had the capacity to contain the epidemic.

Uganda has had previous outbreaks of Ebola, a disease that has killed thousands across Africa since its discovery in 1976 in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Human transmission is through bodily fluids, and the main symptoms are fever, vomiting, bleeding, and diarrhea. Infected individuals do not become contagious until after symptoms appear, with an incubation period of 2 to 21 days.

There are six different strains of the disease, three of which (Bundibugyo, Sudan, Zaire) have already caused major epidemics.

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