Rare type of Ebola virus in Uganda causes concern

Zfor two years the schools are in Uganda been closed due to the corona pandemic. Now the emergence of the Ebola virus has again led to empty classrooms in some places. Although the government has not closed any schools, according to local media reports, many parents in the affected regions do not send their children to class for safety reasons.

Claudia Bröll

Political correspondent for Africa based in Cape Town.

Last week, an Ebola case was discovered in Uganda for the first time in ten years. A 24-year-old man in Mubende district, 140 kilometers west of the capital Kampala, was taken to hospital with a high fever and other serious symptoms. Four days later, the Uganda Virus Research Institute confirmed the suspicion of an Ebola infection, and the man died on the same day. In their further investigations, the authorities encountered numerous reports of strange illnesses and sudden illnesses deaths previously in the area. Six people had died within two weeks in early September. They were buried in traditional ceremonies with many guests. The virus has now spread to two neighboring districts. More than 40 infections have been confirmed and 24 people have died.

Testing, protective clothing and reconnaissance

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni ruled out exit restrictions and further restrictions in the affected areas in a television speech on Wednesday evening. Ebola is easier to keep under control because the virus does not spread through the air but is transmitted through bodily fluids. “The government has the ability to bring this outbreak under control as we have done before. Therefore, there is no reason for fear, panic, restrictions on movement or the closure of public places,” said the President.

The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa-CDC) of the African Union also agreed with this view. The Ugandan government is responding “effectively” and has the situation under control, said interim chief Ahmed Ogwell Ouma. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Africa-CDC supported Uganda with tests, protective clothing and education of the population. The situation in neighboring countries is also being monitored.

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