Ebola outbreak in Uganda ends

On January 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health-Uganda declared that the recent Ebola outbreak in the country has ended. The WHO can declare an end to an epidemic when no confirmed or probable cases are reported for twice the incubation period of Ebola infections, or 42 days.

The outbreak in Uganda was officially recognized on September 20, 2022, and saw 164 confirmed or probable infections, 55 laboratory-confirmed deaths, and 22 suspected deaths due to the virus.

[Related: Uganda’s Ebola outbreak is ‘rapidly evolving,’ according to WHO.]

The last recorded victim was a stillborn baby at 28 weeks gestation who tested positive for the virus. The baby’s mother had previously been infected with the virus, but she recovered and was reportedly in good health. Scientists are studying both cases to understand vertical transmission or whether the virus could have crossed the placenta to infect the baby. This type of transmission has not been a known risk with Ebola before.

The outbreak was caused by the Sudan Ebola virus, one of five known strains of the virus. According to the WHO, the Sudan strain is a serious and frequently fatal disease contracted through the bodily fluids of infected animals. This and all Ebola viruses are spread between humans through direct contact with infected bodily fluids. Some of the best Ebola prevention methods include washing your hands thoroughly, avoiding contact with infected bodily fluids and items that may be contaminated, and avoiding eating meat from infected animals.

There are therapies and a vaccine against another type of Ebola virus (Ebola Zaire), but currently there are no vaccines or treatments against Ebola Sudan. Three vaccines are being tested in Uganda and this recent outbreak was the first of this strain in the country since 2012.

See also  This is how 3D technology is becoming a turning point for the education sector

Since the effects of Ebola infections, including eye problems, headaches, muscle and joint pain, and fatigue, can last for years, the 87 documented survivors will continue to require ongoing care and monitoring. It is also possible that they carry active viruses in certain parts of their bodies that could cause a new outbreak under the right conditions and circumstances.

[Related:Ebola vaccines in African countries successfully produced antibodies in kids and adults.]

“While we scaled up our efforts to implement a robust response in all nine affected districts, the magic wand has been our communities who understood the importance of doing what was necessary to end the outbreak and took action,” said Jane Ruth Aceng Acero. , Uganda’s Minister of Health, in a statement.

Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, added that just two months ago, “it seemed that Ebola would cast a dark shadow over the country well into 2023, as the outbreak reached major cities like Kampala and Jinja, but this Victory begins ends the year on a note of great hope for Africa.”

A lockdown was imposed from mid-October to mid-December in two districts in the epicenter to try to stop the spread of the virus from the epicenter of the outbreak and is attributed to the tried and true virus control measures that helped stop the outbreak. .

“Ugandans have been dealing with responses to Ebola for decades. And they have always managed to control them and prevent them from spilling out of their borders. But they managed to do it through very basic control measures,” Joel Montgomery, chief of the CDC’s Special Viral Pathogens Branch, told CNN. “This is how this outbreak finally ended. We had very good contact tracing, very good Ebola treatment units that had been set up and then very, very good laboratory diagnostics,” he said.

See also  US scientists raise clean energy hopes with fusion power breakthrough

Leave a Comment