Uganda confirms 3 Ebola cases after death of 5-year-old

# 03:09
13 June 2019

Ugandan authorities have confirmed the death of a five-year-old boy who had been infected with Ebola fever.

Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, Uganda’s Health Minister, told journalists Tuesday night that the boy -- who had stayed with his mother in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for a period of time -- died the previous day.

With the boy's mother being of Congolese origin, the family resided in the Ugandan border district of Kasese, Aceng said, adding that the mother had traveled back to the DRC to nurse another relative who later succumbed to the disease.

Ebola has infected more than 2,000 Congolese since August 2018, killing over 1,300.


Aceng added that Ugandan Health officials were alerted by the DRC on Monday of "contacts of a deceased Ebola case who had crossed into Uganda."

Ebola, a hemorrhagic fever, presents itself with blood vomiting, bloody diarrhoea, muscle pain, headache, fatigue and abdominal pain.

Four other family members accompanied the mother and the boy, who tested positive for Ebola, across the border, a Health Ministry statement said.

The statement added that there were two new confirmed cases of Ebola including a grandmother, 50, and 3-year-old brother to the deceased.

With support from the Red Cross, Uganda has deployed medical workers to various border points to screen travelers entering from the DRC.

Some, however, argue that these measures are not sufficient.

"There are a lot of informal crossing points that people pass through," said Paul Okot, Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager of the Red Cross.

He underlined that the Red Cross was stationed only at official border points, adding: "Sometimes they cross when we are not at the station."

The Ministry of Health, World Health Organization (WHO) and U.S. Centre for Disease Control have also dispatched a rapid response team to Kasese to support units on the ground.

Aceng said Health Ministry officials together with the WHO and Center for Disease Control would begin vaccinating high-risk individuals as well as other non-vaccinated frontline health workers on June 14, 2019.

Uganda last had an outbreak of the Ebola virus in 2007 when 22 people died in the district of Bundibugyo in the west of the country.