Rare Ebola outbreak declared in Uganda
The World Health Organization (WHO) indicated that a new outbreak of the Ebola virus has been announced, this time in Uganda.
A spokesperson for the UN agency said on Tuesday that a sample taken from a 24-year-old man had been identified as the relatively rare Sudan strain. This is the first time in more than a decade that the Sudan strain has been detected in Uganda, which also experienced an outbreak of the Ebola virus strain in Zaire in 2019.
The latest outbreak comes after six suspicious deaths in Mubindi district so far this month. There are also eight suspected cases receiving care at a health center.
Dr Machidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, said the UN agency was working closely with the Ugandan authorities to investigate the source, and support efforts to control it.
“Effective Ebola control is no stranger to UgandaHe stressed and explained that, “Thanks to his experience, measures have been taken to rapidly detect the virus and we can rely on this knowledge to stop the spread of infection.”
There is no effective vaccine
The World Health Organization said in a statement that current Ebola vaccines have proven effective against the Zairean strain, but it is unclear whether they will work against the Sudanese strain.
Ebola is a serious and often fatal disease of humans and other primates. It has six different strains, three of which – Bundibugyo, Sudan and Zaire – have previously caused outbreaks.
Case-fatality rates of the strain in Sudan ranged from 41% to 100% in previous outbreaks. Early deployment of supportive therapy has been shown to significantly reduce Ebola deaths, according to the UN agency.
The agency has shipped supplies to support patient care and dispatched a specialized tent that will be used to isolate those infected.
Although the so-called ring vaccination (a strategy to first immunize people at high risk) with the Ervebo vaccine (rVSV-ZEBOV) has been very effective in controlling the spread of Ebola in recent outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other countries. The World Health Organization has warned that this vaccine is only approved to protect against the Zaire strain.
Another vaccine produced by the pharmaceutical company Johnson and Johnson could be effective, but it has not been specifically tested against the Sudanese dynasty.
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