Ebola screening heightened in Kenya following confirmed case in Uganda

Larry Hoffman
June 13, 2019

"Eight contacts have been listed and are now being followed up", Charles Olaro, the ministry's director of clinical services, says in a news release about the tragic developments.

Ebola is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads among humans through close contact with the blood, body fluids, secretions or organs of an infected person. The World Health Organization has twice ruled that this Ebola outbreak is not a yet global emergency.

A dozen members of the boy's family had shown symptoms of Ebola, the Congo's health ministry said.

Despite the fact that Rwanda is surrounded by this public health threat, no Ebola case has been reported in the country, the ministry of health said in a public notice.

The infections have prompted WHO officials to weigh whether to declare the outbreak, previously confined to the eastern DRC, a global health emergency.

Uganda said cross border collaboration and a strong surveillance and screening system helped the country identify and detect the first case early and trace those who might have been in contact with the victim.

Almost 1,400 people have died in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Dr Aceng on Tuesday said that the mother of the child was a Congolese citizen married to a Ugandan.

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.

Congo's health ministry said on Monday that it has recorded 2,062 cases, including 1,390 deaths, since the epidemic began in August.

Authorities have struggled to contain the disease partly because health workers have been repeatedly attacked in conflict-ravaged eastern Congo, the epicentre of the outbreak.

"This is a worrying development, but we have been preparing for this day for months now", Robert Kwesiga, Uganda Red Cross Secretary-General, said in a statement Wednesday.

The head of a major medical research charity has called the latest outbreak of Ebola in central Africa "truly frightening".

In Uganda, where authorities had been alerted by Congolese colleagues, the boy received treatment while relatives were isolated and tested.

Fever, vomiting and severe diarrhoea are among the symptoms of the highly infectious and extremely lethal Ebola virus, which has claimed thousands of lives in a series of outbreaks in Africa since 1976.

Among those vaccinated are the members of a rapid response team who have been deployed to Kasese to trace likely cases and vaccinate those who might have come into contact with any people infected.

Mr. Ryan said Uganda and partners have been working for months to protect the border area against just this type of event.

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