Uganda confirms first Ebola case outside outbreak in Congo

Measles vaccine

In a hastily organized press conference at 9 pm on Tuesday, minister of Health Jane Ruth Aceng said the confirmed case is of 5-year-old boy who'd travelled with his mother to Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to nurse her father who succumbed to Ebola. "The confirmation was made today by the #Uganda Virus Institute (UVRI)". He was then transferred to an Ebola treatment unit-where the health care workers already have been vaccinated-in nearby Bwera.

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The WHO said: "The Ministry of Health and WHO have dispatched a Rapid Response Team to Kasese to identify other people who may be at risk, and ensure they are monitored and provided with care if they also become ill".

Two relatives of the patient have exhibited symptoms consistent with Ebola, and are being tested for the virus.

Results of tests are expected Wednesday. The reason for the discrepancy was not immediately clear and neither the World Health Organization nor the government was reachable for clarification.

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Congo's health ministry in a separate statement said the boy, from Mabalako, arrived on Monday at Congo's Kasindi border post.

Neighbouring Uganda has suffered regular outbreaks of Ebola and Marburg over the years, both high-fatality viral haemorrhagic fevers.

In preparation for a possible imported case during the current outbreak in DRC that has claimed at least 1390 lives, Uganda has vaccinated over 4700 health workers in 165 health facilities.

A donor-supported laboratory in Entebbe, a lakeside town south of the capital Kampala, means Uganda typically confirms outbreaks much faster than many of its neighbours.

To prepare for the possibility of imported cases, Uganda has already vaccinated almost 4,700 health workers against Ebola and disease monitoring programs are in place, the WHO said. More than half of them died.

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