Uganda Battles to Control Ebola Disease Outbreak

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To add on to the list of disastrous events, like Iran riots and malarial outbreak in Pakistan, occurring in the world, the presidential republic of Uganda has reported that Ebola virus has reared its head again. The local authorities declared an outbreak of Ebola last month after they discovered 54 people infected with the virus. At least 19 people have died, including four health workers since September 20.

If you are unfamiliar with the Ebola disease, you are probably better off this way. It is a deadly virus with regular initial symptoms like sudden fever, headaches, sore throat, and muscle pain, however, in the latter stages, the body internally and sometimes externally bleeds to death.

The largest ever Ebola outbreak occurred in West Africa from December 2013 to 2016, resulting in the deaths of more than 11,000 people died. However, it was a Zaire strain outbreak and the vaccines formulated for that were not tested against the Sudan strain, which is responsible for the current epidemic in Uganda.

Nonetheless, the local President Yoweri Museveni said his government was exploring whether it is worth trying them. However, as of lately, the deadly virus, for which there is no proven vaccine, is circulating in the country of 45 million people.

Uganda puts up Ebola prevention signage in Mubende.
Ebola prevention signage in Mubende, Uganda

Medics had previously expressed concern about the lack of adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves and masks. They had also called for a quarantine imposition on Mubende. Initially reluctant to a lockdown, President Yoweri Museveni ruled out restrictions, saying:

“Ebola is not spread like corona[virus] as it is not an airborne disease.”

However, as Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention documented more than 1,100 contacts of known Ebola patients, Museveni imposed a 21-day travel lockdown on two Ebola-hit districts – Mubende and Kassanda, on Saturday.

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Hamna M.
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