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WHO urges Uganda’s neighbors to be vigilant due to increase in Ebola cases

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KAMPALA, UGANDA: Health workers take measures after 2 patients, who were in quarantine due to outbreak of Ebola, discharged from Mubende Refferal Hospital in Kampala, Uganda on September 30, 2022.(Nicholas Kajoba - Anadolu Agency)
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Nov 03, 2022 - 02:04 AM

KAMPALA, Uganda (AA) – World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday there are growing concerns about the spread of Ebola in Uganda’s capital city as cases are continuously increasing.

“Although the current Ebola cases are linked to known clusters, the fact that there are cases in a densely populated city underscores the very real risk of further transmission, and the very urgent need for increased readiness in surrounding countries,” he told reporters.

Tedros said there have been 130 confirmed cases, 21 probable cases, 43 confirmed deaths and 21 probable deaths.

The concern comes against the backdrop of worries about a possible lockdown of Kampala, where 17 cases have been detected.

Uganda’s Health Ministry announced last week that six children from three schools in Kampala contracted Ebola. One child died.

The announcement caused panic, and some experts called for an Ebola-induced lockdown in Kampala to contain the spread.

Health officials advised the Education Ministry to consider cutting short the education semester for some students to decongest schools and minimize the risk of spread.

“The fewer learners at school, the easier for us to carry out surveillance and ensure that learners are safe,” said Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng.

But parents opposed the move, arguing that sending children home early would increase the financial burden on parents when some have just completed paying school fees.

The lack of a licensed vaccine for the Sudan strain of the virus present in Uganda and the spread of the outbreak to Kampala have magnified public health concerns.

Signs of Ebola disease manifest as a viral hemorrhagic fever, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The disease is spread by contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person or contaminated materials.

Symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain, and at times, internal and external bleeding.

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