Uganda has confirmed its first death from the virus since 2019
Uganda’s health ministry has announced the first fatal case of Ebola in the East African nation in three years, announcing an outbreak of a rare strain of the highly contagious virus in the central district of Mubende.
The victim was a 24-year-old man, who showed symptoms of the virus and later died, Diana Atwine, the permanent secretary of the ministry, said at a news conference on Tuesday.
The patient had a high fever, diarrhea and abdominal pain, and vomited blood before dying, she added.
“We want to inform the country that we have an Ebola outbreak, which we confirmed yesterday,” said Atwin.
According to the African office of the World Health Organization (WHO), eight people with suspected cases of “the relatively rare Sudanese species” are currently being treated at a hospital in Mubende.
“Uganda is no stranger to effective Ebola control. Thanks to her expertise, action has been taken quickly to detect the virus and we can count on this knowledge to stop the spread of infections.” Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Africa Regional Director, said in a statement.
Uganda last reported an outbreak of the Sudan tribe in 2012. It was also hit by the Ebola Zaire tribe in 2019, with at least five people dying from the disease at the time.
Ebola was diagnosed in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (then Zaire), which borders Uganda, and has since killed about 15,000 people on the African continent.
The often fatal viral hemorrhagic fever spreads among people through bodily fluids. The natural hosts of Ebola are bats.