Sep 20, 2022 - Health

Uganda declares Ebola outbreak after finding rare strain

A health worker puts on protective gears as he prepares to screen travellers at the Mpondwe Health Screening Facility

A health worker puts on protective gear as he prepares to screen travelers at the Mpondwe Health Screening Facility in Uganda's border town of Mpondwe in 2019. Photo: Isaac Kasamani/AFP via Getty Images

Health authorities in Uganda on Tuesday declared an outbreak of Ebola after officials found a case of a relatively rare strain.

Why it matters: It's the first time the country has called an outbreak of Sudan ebolavirus strain in more than a decade, per the World Health Organization.

Driving the news: A 24-year-old man in Uganda's Ngabano village showed symptoms of the Sudan ebolavirus and later died, per the Ministry of Health.

  • There are eight suspected cases of the virus receiving care, in addition to six suspicious deaths in the district this month, per the WHO's Africa office.
  • "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," Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, said in a statement.

The big picture: There have been seven previous outbreaks of Sudan ebolavirus, including four in Uganda and three in Sudan, the WHO said.

  • Uganda last declared an outbreak of Sudan ebolavirus in 2012. In 2019, the country had an outbreak of Zaire ebolavirus.

What they're saying: "The [Ministry of Health] has dispatched teams to Mubende District to enhance surveillance and community awareness," the ministry wrote on Twitter.

  • "The public is urged to remain vigilant and calm as teams undertake the necessary action."

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