Ebola claims boy in Uganda

Wednesday June 12 2019

Health workers at an Ebola treatment centre in Butembo, DR Congo on March 9, 2019. A child confirmed with the first case of Ebola in Uganda has died. PHOTO | JOHN WESSELS | AFP


A five-year-old boy with the first confirmed case of the deadly Ebola virus in Uganda has died, sources have confirmed.

The child was receiving care at an Ebola treatment centre in Kasese near the western border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The source from Kasese, who spoke to the Nation on condition of anonymity because the person is not authorised to speak publicly, said details on the child's death would be announced later on Wednesday.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday evening confirmed the first Ebola case in Uganda, a spillover from the deadly outbreak in DR Congo.

The child's family had travelled to DRC to attend a funeral and returned home on June 9. He was taken to hospital after showing Ebola-like symptoms.


Travellers from the Democratic Republic of Congo getting into Uganda are screened for Ebola virus at the DRC–Uganda border post of Bunagana on March 8, 2019. PHOTO | MORGAN MBABAZI | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Ebola is a virus that causes severe bleeding and organ failure and is highly fatal and contagious. It is spread through contact with the body fluids such as vomit, blood or faeces of a person sick with the disease. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat.

The Uganda Health ministry said the boy's parents are being monitored.

According to the WHO, Uganda has already vaccinated almost 4,700 health workers in 165 medical facilities against the virus with an experimental drug being used in DR Congo.

It added that monitoring for signs of the disease has intensified.

The latest outbreak was first recorded in eastern DRC in August and has claimed more than 1,300 lives.