Congo’s Ebola outbreak spreading with first case confirmed in Uganda

12 Juin, 2019, 02:22 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Baz Ratner  Reuters FILE

The Ebola virus that has stubbornly lingered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2018 has finally jumped the border, sickening a 5-year-old boy in Uganda.

The Congolese boy crossed into Uganda on June 9 with his family through the Bwera border post, World Health Organization said in a statement.

"The child and his family entered the country through Bwera Border post and sought medical care at Kagando hospital [in Kasese, Uganda] where health workers identified Ebola as a possible cause of illness", it added.

The diagnosis of Ebola was then confirmed by the Uganda Virus Institute (UVRI) on Tuesday before being announced by officials.

More than 2,000 cases have been recorded there in the last 10 months - most of which have been fatal.

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According to the WHO, Uganda vaccinated almost 4,700 health workers in 165 facilities with an experimental drug created to protect them against the virus.

The disease is spread mainly through contact with the bodily fluids of those infected.

The outbreak in DR Congo has become the second biggest in history, with a significant spike in new cases noted in recent weeks.

Health officials have feared the spread of the virus, which has festered in DRC's North Kivu and Ituri provinces for almost a year.

In a statement on Tuesday, medical charity Doctors Without Borders called for "a massive mobilisation of all relevant national and worldwide organisations in order to vaccinate more children and treat patients" affected by measles.

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