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Ebola virus outbreak prompts Uganda to host regional meeting with CDC and WHO

Four health workers are among the 30 people who have died.
Image:
Doctors walk inside the Ebola isolation section of Mubende Regional Referral Hospital in Mubende, Uganda on Sept. 29.Hajarah Nalwadda / AP
/ Source: Associated Press

NAIROBI, Kenya — The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Uganda next week will host a ministerial meeting on the outbreak of the Sudan strain of the Ebola virus which has no proven vaccine and has caused alarm in the East Africa region.

Acting director Ahmed Ogwell told journalists on Thursday the three countries that suffered the devastating West Africa outbreak of Ebola in 2014-16, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, also are invited to the Oct. 12 meeting.

The current Ebola outbreak in central Uganda has a 69% case fatality rate, which Ogwell called “very high,” and four health workers are among the 30 people who have died. There have been 43 confirmed cases. None have been in the capital, Kampala.

Ogwell said the exposure of health workers was at the beginning of the outbreak “when we did not know what we were dealing with,” and he dismissed the suggestion that the infections signaled the outbreak was getting out of hand.

Image:
Relatives of a woman who died from Ebola prepare her grave in Kijavuzo, Uganda, on Sept. 29. Hajarah Nalwadda / AP

He said more than 860 active contacts have been listed and at least 78% of them are being monitored, a situation that has almost doubled from a week ago.

The Africa CDC said it has procured 20,000 test kits that should arrive early next week for the region, and it will ship stockpiles of personal protective equipment next week.

Ebola can be difficult to detect at first because fever is also a symptom of malaria. Ebola, which manifests as a viral hemorrhagic fever, is spread through contact with bodily fluids of an infected person or contaminated materials. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain and at times internal and external bleeding.

Uganda has had multiple Ebola outbreaks, including one in 2,000 that killed more than 200 people.