Uganda’s Ministry of Health has officially declared an outbreak of Ebola after a 24-year-old man was discovered to have died from the rare Sudan strain.
It’s the first time since 2019 the strain has been found in Uganda, leading health officials to make the declaration with investigations being carried out into the source.
There have also been six suspicious deaths in the Mubende district which the Ugandan government are looking into while at the present time, there are eight suspected Ebola cases in an unknown health facility.
Despite this, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization Regional Director for Africa is confident that the cases can be contained.
“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.”
However, work needs to be done to create a vaccine for the Sudan strain she said.
WHO says that a Johnson and Johnson vaccine is in development but has not being tested for this strain as of yet.
Previous Ebola vaccines have proven to be successful in combatting the Zaire strain but at the current rate, the Sudan strain has a case fatality rate from 41 to 100 per cent in past outbreaks according to WHO.
Supplies have been dispatched to affected areas, while the Ervebo vaccine is also being rolled out, although it’s not known if this will be effective.
Uganda hasn’t been the only nation in Africa to recently see Ebola.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo declared an outbreak in April after more than two people died of the disease.
Ebola is a life-threatening virus that causes severe bleeding and organ failure and is usually caught through bodily fluids says the Mayo Clinic.
The biggest outbreak in history came in 2014 when over 11,000 people died in West Africa with the epidemic lasting more than two years.