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Ebola outbreak under control, say health officials in Uganda

A doctor dons protective equipment as he prepares to visit a patient who was in contact with an Ebola victim, in the isolation section of Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital in Entebbe, Uganda on Oct. 20, 2022 (AP Photo/Hajarah Nalwadda, File)
Rodney Muhumuza, Associated Press

Uganda’s Ebola outbreak is under control, a top public health official in Africa said on Thursday, noting that local health authorities are doing well to trace most contacts.

“The situation is not getting out of control,” said Dr Ahmed Ogwell, acting director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. “We have good visibility of all the contacts.”

About 98 percent of 2,694 documented contacts – people exposed to Ebola by a confirmed patient – are being monitored, Ogwell said, adding that it “gives comfort that we know the evolution of this particular outbreak.”

Tracing contacts is key to stemming the spread of contagious diseases like Ebola.

Uganda declared an outbreak of the Sudan strain of Ebola on September 20.

The epicentre is a rural community in central Uganda about 93 miles from the capital, Kampala.

The outbreak has spread to Kampala in recent days after some Ebola patients sought treatment there. Six schoolchildren attending three different schools are among at least 15 confirmed Ebola cases in Kampala, the health minister reported on Wednesday, raising fears of contagion.

There is no approved vaccine for the Sudan strain of Ebola, but two candidate vaccines are due to be tested in clinical trials that officials say will launch in days.

The current outbreak of Ebola, which manifests as a viral haemorrhagic fever, has so far infected 109 people and killed 30, including four health workers.

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