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Health workers fall prey to Ebola in growing Uganda outbreak

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MUBENDE, UGANDA - Health measures are taken at Mubende Regional Referral Hospital after an outbreak of Ebola in the country in Mubende, Uganda on September 20, 2022. (Nicholas Kajoba - Anadolu Agency)
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Sep 30, 2022 - 06:40 AM

KAMPALA, Uganda (AA) – At least six health workers have contracted the Ebola virus during the ongoing outbreak in Uganda, authorities said on Thursday.

All six were infected in the central district of Mubende, which remains the epicenter of an outbreak caused by the virus’ relatively rare Sudan strain.

A total of 36 cases, including 24 confirmed and suspected deaths, have been detected since the first fatality was reported in Mubende last week, Health Ministry spokesperson Emma Ainebyoona told Anadolu Agency.

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has ruled out imposing a lockdown, asserting that the country “has the capacity to control this outbreak as we have done before.”

“There is no need for anxiety, no restrictions of movements, closure of schools places of worships, markets as of now,” he said in a televised address on Wednesday night.

This is the East African country’s fourth Ebola outbreak, with the deadliest being one in 2000 that killed more than 200 people.

According to the World Health Organization, the Sudan strain has been found in Uganda for the first time in more than a decade. The last outbreak in 2019 was caused by the Zaire strain of the virus.

The new challenge comes as Uganda’s health sector faces a crippling staff shortage.

There were about 57,200 health workers in the country during 2020-21, almost 20,000 less than the required figure of around 77,000, according to a government report.

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