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Uganda Confirms Six Deaths From Outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease

On 5 June 2018 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, UNICEF-supported social mobilizers address a group of children in central Mbandaka, the capital of Equateur Province. Since the start of the Ebola outbreak in the DRC, UNICEF and its partners have reached more than 300,000 people with lifesaving information about how to avoid contracting the deadline virus.Following the announcement by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on 8 May 2018 of a new Ebola outbreak in Equateur Province, UNICEF has mobilised its teams to help contain the spread of the disease. The outbreak was declared in the Bikoro Health Zone, located more than 100 kilometers south of the provincial capital of Mbandaka. A UNICEF team with two doctors, a specialist in water, sanitation and hygiene as well as a specialist in community communication left today from Mbandaka to assess the extent of the epidemic and begin implementing the response, alongside the Government and the World Health Organization (WHO). This is the ninth Ebola outbreak in the country since 1976. UNICEF supports the Government in its coordination of the response both from the country’s capital Kinshasa as well as in the affected area. UNICEF has been active in the Equateur Province for many years. Based on its experience in previous Ebola epidemics, UNICEF is focusing its response on communication activities in the communities to protect people from the disease and on water supply, hygiene and sanitation to prevent the spread of the disease. UNICEF has already sent a total of 45 kg of chlorine, five sprays, 50kg of soap and 28,000 water purification tablets to the area, as well as 600 posters and 6,000 leaflets to educate affected communities.

Ebola has been confirmed in Uganda after at least six people died in Mubende after showing signs of the deadly virus.

At least six people suspected to have died from deadly virus in Mubende

In a statemenent from the Mubende Regional Refferal Hospital director, Dr Alex Adema, it is suspected that the ebola cases are of the Sudan variant following tests at the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI).

Ebola is a rare and deadly disease in people and nonhuman primates. People can get Ebola through direct contact with an infected animal (bat or nonhuman primate) or a sick or dead person infected with Ebola virus.

“Laboratory findings from UVRI indicate that the admitted patient that actually passed on today morning tested positive for Ebola Sudan variant. This is therefore to request you instruct your health workers, units/ health facilities departments to keep calm as we observe stern precautionary and infection prevention and control measures while doing our work. Renew their knowledge and increase their level of suspicion for VHF. I have contacted the Ministry of health commissioners for epidemic response and control. Teams have been dispatched to the region to give us backup support,” Adema said.

The ministry of Health is in preparations to issue a statement regarding the outbreak.

This is the fifth time Uganda is reporting an Ebola outbreak. Uganda last had an Ebola outbreak in 2018. The deadliest was in 2000 were 224 deaths were reported. Others were in 2014 and 2017.

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