Uganda confirms 1st Ebola case outside outbreak in Congo

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Uganda's health ministry says a patient has tested positive for Ebola in what is the first cross-border case of the deadly virus since an outbreak started in neighbouring Congo previous year.

Uganda has been on high alert since the start of the Ebola outbreak in DRC in August 2018.

There have been more than 2,000 confirmed and probable cases of the Ebola virus in Congo since August, with almost 1,400 deaths.

"The confirmed case is a 5-year-old Congolese child who travelled from the DRC with his family on 9th June 2019". Congo has been experiencing an outbreak since last summer. Until Tuesday, it had been somewhat confined to a densely populated area in Congo's North Kivu province. It is the second largest Ebola outbreak on record, surpassed only by the 2014 West African outbreak, which involved more than 28,000 cases and 11,000 deaths.

Uganda has already vaccinated about 4,700 health workers against the disease, the joint statement by WHO and Ugandan health officials said. Health workers have regularly come under attack.

"Our teams in Uganda have been training and preparing for this possibility, working in infection prevention and control and training health clinics in the country to recognize symptoms and safely triage and transfer suspected cases to Ebola treatment centers", said Kellie Ryan, a spokeswoman for the International Rescue Committee, which has teams on the periphery of the outbreak zone, both in and outside of Congo, preparing for potential new cases.