AFRICA HEALTH News

Uganda Intensifies Surveillance After WHO Reports On Ebola Virus

The World Health Organisation (WHO) will work with authorities in Uganda to vaccinate about 590 fishmongers at the Mpondwe market, following the discovery that one of them vomited at the Ugandan market on July 11 before dying in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

“The surveillance teams established that she had four episodes of vomiting on the day she was in the country,” read part of a joint statement on Wednesday. Also stated that WHO are yet to establish the woman’s movements or who had transported her or her goods. On July 12, the trader travelled to Beni in DRC and was admitted in the Beni Ebola Treatment Unit on July 13. She died on July 15 after testing positive for Ebola.

‘‘The health ministry and WHO appeal to all Ugandans to remain vigilant and alert. Avoid handshaking, hugging, mass gatherings and observe infection, prevention and control practices such as washing hands with soap and clean water at all times both at health facilities and communities,” the statement continued.

WHO had previously hailed Uganda for containing the spread of the virus after two people died of the Ebola virus in the Western Uganda district of Kasese. Since then, no other Ebola cases have been reported within Uganda, and authorities reiterated on Wednesday that there is no confirmed Ebola Virus Disease case in Kasese district or any other part of Uganda.

The WHO which declared Congo’s Ebola outbreak an international health emergency has warned that the nearby countries of Rwanda, South Sudan, Burundi and Uganda are the most at risk, while Central African Republic, Angola, Tanzania, Republic of Congo and Zambia are in a second tier.

The global body has, however, urged countries not to close borders or restrict trade. Ugandan authorities confirmed that all places of economic and social interaction in Uganda, such as national parks and tourist sites are open and accessible to the public. Over 6,000 people have been vaccinated in Uganda since November 2018.

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