The Uganda Ministry of Health declared an Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak today after a case of the Sudan ebolavirus was confirmed in Mubende district in the central part of the country.
The Uganda Virus Research Institute provides more details on the case and the situation in a statement below:
“This is the first time in more than a decade that Uganda is recording an outbreak of Sudan ebolavirus. We are working closely with the national health authorities to investigate the source of this outbreak while supporting the efforts to quickly roll out effective control measures,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa. “Uganda is no stranger to effective Ebola control. Thanks to its expertise, action has been taken to quickly to detect the virus and we can bank on this knowledge to halt the spread of infections.”
While ring vaccination of high-risk people with Ervebo (rVSV-ZEBOV) vaccine has been highly effective in controlling the spread of Ebola in recent outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and elsewhere, this vaccine has only been approved to protect against the Zaire virus. Another vaccine produced by Johnson and Johnson may be effective but has yet to be specifically tested against Ebola Sudan.
Ebola is a severe, often fatal illness affecting humans and other primates. It has six different species, three of which (Bundibugyo, Sudan and Zaire) have previously caused large outbreaks. Case fatality rates of the Sudan virus have varied from 41% to 100% in past outbreaks. Early initiation of supportive treatment has been shown to significantly reduce deaths from Ebola.