A five-year-old boy in Uganda has been diagnosed with Ebola, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, the Minister of Health has confirmed. Accordingly, this makes it the first confirmed case of the virus amid a deadly outbreak in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo where close to 1400 are already dead.
The boy is said to have travelled across the border with his family from DR Congo on Sunday and was diagnosed with the virus that was then confirmed by the Uganda Virus Institute (UVRI) yesterday.
Dr Aceng told a news conference on Tuesday that the boy’s family members are being monitored, including two who have exhibited Ebola-like symptoms and that they are doing everything possible to avert the risk of a possible outbreak.
She however urged the public to remain vigilant and report any cases of the virus. “Uganda has been in preparedness mode ever since the Ebola outbreak was declared in DRC. Now, we move into response mode.
Please cooperate with our health, immigration and security officials to ensure effective screening to prevent spread of Ebola to other parts of the country.
Ebola is a virus that initially causes sudden fever, intense weakness, muscle pain and a sore throat. It then progresses to vomiting, diarrhoea and causes both internal and external bleeding. People are infected when they have direct contact through broken skin, or the mouth and nose, with the blood, vomit, faeces or bodily fluids of someone with Ebola. Patients tend to die from dehydration and multiple organ failure.