Health official: Ebola in Uganda under control

Ebola outbreak in Uganda under control. Clock photo: AP.

A senior health official in Africa said Thursday that the Ebola outbreak in Uganda is under control, with local authorities doing a good job of tracing most contacts. “The situation is not getting out of hand,” said Dr. Ahmed Oguil, acting director of the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “We have a good view of all communications.”

About 98% of 2,694 documented contacts — people who have been exposed to Ebola by a confirmed patient — are being monitored, Ogwell said. “What we know about the evolution of this particular outbreak is heartening,” he added. Contact tracing is critical to reducing the spread of infectious diseases such as Ebola.

Uganda declared an outbreak of the Sudanese strain of Ebola on September 20. The epicenter is a rural community in the center of the country, about 150 kilometers (93 miles) from the capital, Kampala.

The outbreak spread to Kampala in recent days after many patients sought medical care in the capital. On Wednesday, the health minister said that of at least 15 confirmed cases in the city, six are children attending three different schools, raising fears of new infections.

There is no licensed vaccine for the Sudanese strain of Ebola, but two candidate vaccines are expected to be tested in clinical trials that officials say will begin within days.

The outbreak, which manifests itself as a viral hemorrhagic fever, has so far infected 109 people and killed 30, including four health workers.

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