The World Health Organization declares the end of the Ebola epidemic in Uganda
“We have successfully brought the Ebola epidemic under control in Uganda,” Health Minister Jane Ruth Aseng said at a ceremony in Mupendi, the epicenter of the outbreak.
By WHO standards, an outbreak is considered over when there have been no new cases for 42 consecutive days, twice the number of days it takes for the disease to incubate.
The outbreak was declared in Mubindi on September 20 and has subsequently spread across the East African country of 47 million people, killing 55 people.
At the moment there is no vaccine for the disease, but three experimental vaccines are being tested in the country.
Uganda’s Minister of Health said that there have been seven Ebola outbreaks, five of which were caused by the so-called “Sudanese” strain, adding that the source of the outbreak last September “is still unknown.”
“I congratulate Uganda on its strong and comprehensive response that resulted in today’s victory against Ebola,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.
Ebola is an often fatal viral hemorrhagic fever. It owes its name to a river in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) where it was discovered in 1976.
Uganda has had six outbreaks of Ebola, the most recent in 2019. Four of them are caused by the so-called Sudanese strain.
The virus is transmitted through bodily fluids. Its usual symptoms are fever, vomiting, bleeding and diarrhea.
Infected people become contagious after the onset of symptoms, after an incubation period of 2 to 21 days.
The disease has six different strains, three of which have already caused major epidemics.
Epidemics are difficult to contain, especially in urban areas.
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