By Christine Maema
Health authorities in Uganda on Tuesday declared an outbreak of Ebola after a case of the relatively rare Sudan strain was confirmed in Mubende district in the central part of the country.
According to the Uganda Virus Research Institute, the case was confirmed after testing a sample taken from a 24-year-old male following an investigation by the National Rapid Response team of six suspicious deaths that have occurred in the district this month.
There are currently eight suspected cases who are receiving care in a health facility.
“This is the first time in more than a decade that Uganda is recording the Ebola Sudan strain. We are working closely with the national health authorities to investigate the source of this outbreak while supporting the efforts to quickly roll out effective control measures,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa.
“Uganda is no stranger to effective Ebola control. Thanks to its expertise, action has been taken to quickly to detect the virus and we can bank on this knowledge to halt the spread of infections,” she added.
There have been seven previous outbreaks of the Ebola Sudan strain, with four occurring in Uganda and three in Sudan.
Uganda last reported an outbreak of Ebola Sudan in 2012.
WHO is assisting Ugandan health authorities with the investigation and is deploying staff to the affected area. WHO has also dispatched supplies to support the care of patients and is sending a tent that will be used to isolate patients.
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