The first confirmed Ebola patient from the latest outbreak in Uganda has passed on. The 5-year-old boy passed away last night at around 9.30 pm. His younger 3-year-old brother and grandmother have since also tested positive.
According to minister of Health, Jane Ruth Aceng, in total, there are currently 7 suspects - 5 from the same family of the deceased boy who recently travelled to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and came back with four relatives through Bwera border in Kasese district. The other suspects are of two Ugandans who have no connection to the family.
These are the first confirmed Ebola cases in Uganda since the August 2018 outbreak in neighbouring Congo which has already claimed at least 1,357 lives. According to World Health Organisation (WHO), since the outbreak in DRC last year, health officials in Uganda have sent 51 samples to the Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe and it was the 51st sample that tested positive.
Uganda's 10-month preparedness has now been switched to a response mode according to ministry of Health.
Ebola virus disease is a severe illness that is spread through contact with the body fluids such as vomit, blood and faeces of a person sick with the disease. The symptoms can be sudden and include fever, fatigue, muscle pain, headache, sore threat.
According to WHO, people who have been in contact with someone with the disease are offered vaccine and asked to monitor their health for 21 days to ensure they do not become ill as well.
The investigational vaccine being used in DRC and by health and frontline workers in Uganda has so far been effective in protecting people from developing the disease, and has helped those who do develop the disease to have a better chance of survival.
Any suspected Ebola case should be reported to the nearest health facility or on toll free number 0800203033.