Uganda Announces Rare Ebola Species Outbreak Following Six “Suspicious Deaths”

Uganda Announces Rare Ebola Species Outbreak Following Six “Suspicious Deaths”

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday that an Ebola outbreak has been declared in Uganda as a result of a person testing positive for the Sudan species of the virus. Six “strange deaths” in the previous month led to this. Uncertainty over the effectiveness of the current Ebola vaccines against this less common viral strain is alarming.

The 24-year-old was diagnosed with the Sudan ebolavirus in the Central Region of Uganda’s Mubende region. Eight suspected cases, in addition to the one confirmed case, are currently being treated in a medical facility.

A viral illness called Ebola creates issues with blood coagulation, which can result in internal bleeding and other complications. Approximately 50% of those who catch the illness pass away, while case fatality rates for the Sudan species have ranged from 41% to 100% throughout several epidemics.

Frequent symptoms of the illness include fever, exhaustion, and muscle pains. These symptoms are frequently followed by vomiting, diarrhea, deteriorated kidney and liver function, and unexplained bleeding.

Contact with bodily fluids of a person who has the Ebola virus sickness or has already passed away from it can spread the disease. The virus can also be detected in animal reservoirs in sub-Saharan Africa.

There are six types of ebolavirus that are now recognized, three of which (Bundibugyo, Sudan, and Zaire) have been responsible for significant outbreaks in the past.

Though effective Ebola vaccinations have recently been created, they only worked against the more widespread Zaire variety. How well they fared against the Sudan species is unknown.

The good news is that Uganda has a lot of practical experience managing Ebola epidemics. The nation suffered an ebolavirus outbreak in Zaire in 2019. Even the 2012 Sudan ebolavirus outbreak occurred there.

“Uganda is now reporting an epidemic of Sudan ebolavirus for the first time in more than ten years. In a statement, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, said, “We are collaborating closely with the national health authorities to identify the origin of this outbreak and support the efforts to swiftly carry out appropriate control measures.

“Uganda has experience with successful Ebola control. We were able to immediately identify the virus because of its expertise, and we can rely on this information to stop the spread of diseases, according to Dr. Moeti.