Two more Ebola cases confirmed in Uganda

File A renewed large-scale vaccination programme has been launched to try to counter the outbreak

"In addition to border security, my office is working on Health Security. This brings us to a total of three confirmed cases" Dr Aceng Ruth Jane, Minister of Health, said.

"Two more samples were sent to UVRI (Uganda Virus Research Institute) and have tested positive". Uganda now has three confirmed Ebola cases.

The WHO has only declared a public health emergency, known as a PHEIC, four times since the International Health Regulations, which govern global health emergency responses, were enacted in 2007.

The WHO said that it has now confirmed a case of Ebola Virus Disease in Uganda, noting that it is the first confirmed case to be found in Uganda during the Ebola outbreak on-going in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo. "In Congo, if they find you with a headache, they take you to the hospital and later say they died of Ebola". "She does not have to go through the official border points", Mwebesa said.

A 5-year-old boy vomiting blood has become the first cross-border case of Ebola in the current deadly outbreak.

Rwanda's preventive measures against Ebola remains in place including conducting community awareness on the disease, screening of travellers entering Rwanda as well as capacity building for case detection and control, it said.

Uganda's health ministry confirmed Wednesday that a child had died from the virus and that his three-year-old brother and their grandmother were also infected.

Eight other people in contact with the family had been tracked down and were being monitored. "Frontline health workers in the district where they reported the cases were vaccinated". He is believed to have travelled across the border with his family from DCR and was taken to hospital after exhibiting symptoms consistent with Ebola infection.

But they left the isolation ward and crossed into Uganda, he added.

"We are contacting members of the worldwide health regulations emergency committee and asking them to be on standby", he said.

An Ebola outbreak in eastern Congo has killed more than 1,300 people since August and is the second-deadliest in history.

Uganda's health ministry and the WHO will conduct ring vaccination of patient contacts and unvaccinated health workers beginning on Jun 14. An outbreak in the north in 2000 infected 425 people, killing more than half.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease for which no treatment exists.

"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 United States has strong confidence in the Ugandan government's ability to respond to the outbreak in coordination with partners.

Almost 1,400 people are confirmed or believed to have died from Ebola in the DRC during the current outbreak, according to World Health Organization figures released Monday.

Efforts to contain the disease have been hampered by ongoing violence in the region, including attacks on health workers.

Just days ago, the 5-year-old boy and his mother had traveled from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Uganda.

Ebola victims are most infectious right after death-which means that African burial practices, where families touch the bodies, can spread the disease.



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