DRC's Ebola outbreak spreads to Uganda | News

Measles vaccine

The Ebola virus that has stubbornly lingered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2018 has finally jumped the border, sickening a 5-year-old boy in Uganda.

The ministry said today the patient is a Congolese woman in a district near the Congo border.

The outbreak has infected at least 2,062 people in Congo, and about 1,400 have died.

According to Aceng, the family sought for medical care for the boy at Kagando hospital where health workers identified Ebola as a possible cause of illness after he presented symptoms of vomiting blood, bloody diarrhea, muscle pain, headache, fatigue and abdominal pain.

Six family members then broke away while being transferred to an Ebola treatment centre in Beni and crossed into Uganda while Congolese border officials alerted their Ugandan colleagues, Congo's health ministry said.

Uganda has vaccinated almost 5,000 health workers at 165 health facilities, including both the one where the boy is being treated, and the one at Kagando where his family first stopped for care.

Results of these tests will be known tomorrow, said Uganda's ministry of health.

The ministry of health, along with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control, has dispatched a rapid response team to Kasese in western Uganda to help deal with the outbreak.

It was not immediately clear how the family members were able to cross the border, where millions have travellers have been screened for Ebola since the outbreak began.

This is the first case confirmed in the country amid a deadly outbreak in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

The effort to contain it has been severely hampered by ongoing conflict in North Kivu that has sown distrust between outside organizations, such as the WHO and United Nations, and locals wary of interference in their affairs.

The East African nation has had multiple outbreaks of Ebola and other hemorrhagic fevers since 2000.

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