Uganda’s president has restricted traffic in and out of two districts hit by another wave of Ebola as authorities in the UK and America urge travelers and health professionals to remain vigilant.
President Yoweri Museveni said he would impose a curfew to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
So far, 54 Ebola cases have been identified in Uganda this year. Of these known cases, 19 people have died.
One of the victims died in the country’s capital, Kampala, but the person is said to have contracted the virus in an affected district before fleeing.
Most cases have been reported in Mubende and known cases outside this region have an epidemiological link with Mubende.
Disturbing footage from a small village in Mubende shows Red Cross medics dressed in protective gear as they prepare to bury the remains of a three-year-old child suspected of dying of Ebola.
Villagers watched, huddled, while medics kept a safe distance wearing dangerous gear, face masks and gloves.
: Red Cross workers wear personal protective equipment before burying a 3-year-old boy suspected of dying of Ebola on Oct. 13
Photos show medics don protective gear before entering home of suspected Ebola fatality
So far, 54 Ebola cases have been identified in Uganda this year. Of these known cases, 19 people have died
Cases have been recorded in Uganda’s Ebola outbreak in Mubende and Kassanda districts, as well as in Kyegegwa, Kagadi and Bunyangabu in the west
NHS staff have been urged to remain vigilant as the outbreak in the African country spreads rapidly.
Doctors should keep an eye out for possible symptoms of the highly contagious virus in people returning from the affected regions of Uganda, UKHSA bosses said.
Tell-tale signs of Ebola, which kill up to half of people who become infected, are fever, vomiting, bleeding from the orifices and diarrhea.
On average, the disease kills about half of those infected, usually within 14 days of the onset of symptoms.
The body of a three-year-old boy suspected of Ebola was found in Mubende on October 13. to bury
Yoweri Museveni said he would impose a curfew in an effort to curb the spread of the deadly virus
The disease is highly contagious but spreads through direct contact with bodily fluids and is not airborne.
Hospitals and GP practices were also advised to ensure adequate infection prevention and control measures for the virus.
This includes having adequate personal protective equipment, such as masks, aprons and visors.
However, the UKHSA stressed that the risk to the public is ‘very low’. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs estimates that about 15,000 people travel to Uganda every year.
No cases of the killer virus have yet been discovered in the UK.
Tell-tale signs of Ebola, which kill up to half of people who become infected, are fever, vomiting, bleeding from the orifices, and diarrhea
Emergency response teams, isolation centers and treatment tents have been set up by Ugandan health authorities around the central district of Mubende
But in a public health warning, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) urged medics to remain “vigilant” for potential cases. Trusts have been told to ensure they have adequate PPE.
The warning came when US authorities introduced airport screening for people arriving from Uganda, restricting their access to major travel hubs.
All travelers who have been to Uganda in the 21 days prior to landing in the US will be forwarded to one of the five airports.
Passengers receive temperature and risk assessment checks, as well as a visual symptom check. They will also be asked to confirm contact details and US state and local health departments will contact travelers three weeks after the date they left Uganda.
Doctors, if they suspect patients have Ebola, are urged to obtain patient travel histories.
There is an approved vaccine against Ebola, but it has not been proven to be effective against the latest strain, which originated in Sudan.
Some of the infrastructure in Uganda set up for Covid patients is rapidly being reused for the Ebola outbreak.
To fight the virus, Ugandan health authorities have set up emergency response teams, isolation centers and treatment tents around the central district of Mubende.
Ebola can be spread through contaminated bodily fluids or surfaces. Here, a medical attendant disinfects the rubber boots of medical personnel before they leave the Ebola isolation unit at Mubende Regional Referral Hospital in Uganda
WHAT IS EBOLA AND HOW DEADLY IS IT?
ebola, a hemorrhagic fever, which killed at least 11,000 people around the world after it decimated West Africa and spread rapidly over the span of two years.
That epidemic was officially declared in January 2016, when Liberia was declared Ebola-free by the WHO.
The country, rocked by successive civil wars that ended in 2003, was hit hardest by the fever, with 40 percent of the dead there.
Sierra Leone reported the highest number of Ebola cases, with nearly all those infected being residents of the country.
WHERE DOES IT BEGIN?
An analysis published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the outbreak started in Guinea, which borders Liberia and Sierra Leone.
A team of international researchers was able to trace the epidemic to a two-year-old boy in Meliandou – about 400 miles (650 km) from the capital Conakry.
Emile Ouamouno, better known as Patient Zero, may have contracted the deadly virus from playing with bats in a hollow tree, a study suggested.
HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE PASSED?
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Figures show that nearly 29,000 people were infected with Ebola, meaning the virus killed about 40 percent of those it affected.
Cases and deaths were also reported in Nigeria, Mali and the US – but on a much smaller scale, with 15 fatalities between the three countries.
Health officials in Guinea reported a mysterious bug in the southeastern regions of the country before the WHO confirmed it was Ebola.
Ebola was first identified by scientists in 1976, but the most recent outbreak eclipsed all others recorded in history, figures show.
HOW DID PEOPLE ORDER THE VIRUS?
Scientists believe that Ebola is most commonly transmitted to humans from fruit bats, but antelopes, porcupines, gorillas and chimpanzees may also be the cause.
It can be transmitted between people through blood, secretions and other bodily fluids from people — and surfaces — that have been infected.
IS THERE A TREATMENT?
The WHO warns there is “no proven cure” for Ebola – but dozens of drugs and shots are being tested in the event of an equally devastating outbreak.
However, there is hope after an experimental vaccine called rVSV-ZEBOV protected nearly 6,000 people. The results are published in the journal The Lancet.