Health June 12, 2019
Boy, 5, dies of Ebola in Uganda as outbreak begins to spread

By Fabian Sutch-Daggett - World Healthcare Journal

As feared by the World Health Organisation, and aid services operating in the DRC since the start of the year, the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has crossed the border and is now threatening to become an international crisis. Three cases have so far been reported in Uganda, which includes the death of a 5-year-old Congolese boy who was confirmed to have the virus. He was taken to hospital after displaying textbook Ebola systems.

Members of the boy’s family have also been admitted into hospital within Uganda, with his brother, 3, and grandmother, 50. The family travelled over from the Congo on Sunday, after leaving an Ebola treatment centre, but did not pass through an official border point, where all travellers are screened.

This marks the first death outside of the DRC in the current Ebola outbreak. So far, the epidemic has claimed 1,400 lives, marking it as the second largest of its kind.

In light of this new development, a committee has been placed on standby by the WHO to advise on whether a global health emergency needs to be declared. The current Ebola crisis in the DRC is already at the highest level of emergency (Level 3).

Henry Mbwesa, Director for Uganda’s National Health Team, stated that the country was “not panicking”. “We have all the contingencies to contain this case. It’s not going to go beyond [the patient’s family]” he said.

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