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Six schoolchildren test positive for Ebola in Uganda as contagion fears grow

Ebola Virus at 108,000 Magnification
Rodney Muhumuza, Associated Press

Six schoolchildren in Uganda’s capital have tested positive for Ebola, the health minister said, marking a serious escalation of the outbreak declared just over a month ago.

The children, who attend three different schools in Kampala, are among at least 15 people in the city confirmed to have been infected with Ebola, according to a statement by health minister Jane Ruth Aceng.

The children are members of a family exposed to the disease by a man who travelled from one Ebola-hit district and sought treatment in Kampala, the statement said.

Authorities are “following up” 170 contacts from the schools attended by the six children, they said.

Ebola, which manifests as a viral haemorrhagic fever, has infected 109 people and killed 30 since September 20, when the outbreak was declared several days after the disease began spreading in a rural community in central Uganda.

Ugandan health officials in the district of Mubende, the epicentre, were not quick to confirm Ebola partly because the disease’s symptoms can mimic those of the more prevalent malaria.

There is no proven vaccine for the Sudan strain of Ebola that is circulating in this East African country of 45 million people.


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