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Homeland Security

Uganda's Ministry of Health Confirms Ebola Case from DR Congo

By Halima Athumani August 29, 2019

Uganda's Ministry of Health has confirmed a case of the Ebola virus in the western district of Kasese.

In a statement released Thursday evening, Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaducu, Uganda's minister of state in charge of primary health care, said, "The confirmed case is a 9-year-old female of Congolese origin who traveled with her mother on Wednesday."

The child and her mother entered Uganda through the Mpondwe main border post to seek medical care.

The child reportedly has symptoms including high fever, body weakness, rash and unexplained mouth bleeding.

A blood sample was drawn and sent for testing at the Uganda Virus Research Institute and was confirmed positive for Ebola on Thursday.

"She was subsequently isolated and transferred to Bwera Hospital Ebola treatment unit, where she is currently being managed," Moriku said.

This was the second time a confirmed Ebola case had crossed into Uganda. In June, a 5-year-old boy died in Uganda after crossing into the country with his family from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where more than 1,800 people have died of the disease since August 2018.

Uganda's Ministry of Health is now repeating calls to citizens to cooperate with health workers, immigration officials and security officials "to ensure effective screening at all entry points to prevent the spread of Ebola to other parts of the country."

The case came amidst an ongoing Ebola vaccine trial by scientists in Uganda, a project aimed at preventing the disease from spreading.

The new vaccine is manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceutical, owned by U.S.-based Johnson & Johnson. It will be administered to health care professionals, as well as ambulance drivers, burial teams and cleaners. The trial is expected to last two years and cover 800 people in the Mbarara district in southwest Uganda.

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