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Ebola outbreak detected in Uganda after 'rare' strain found in patient

Ebola outbreak detected in Uganda after 'rare' strain found in patient

The dangerous strain was detected after six suspicious deaths in the same local area.

Uganda has raised the alarm after a rare Sudan strain of the Ebola was confirmed in a 24-year-old man living in the nation's central Mubende district.

His death follows six other suspicious deaths in the same local area.

Ugandan Health Ministry Secretary Diana Atwine revealed to the public that the Uganda Virus Research Institute had confirmed a case of the deadly strain.

"We want to inform the country that we have an outbreak of Ebola which we confirmed yesterday," Atwine said, as per Reuters.

Atwine said the patient suffered from a high fever, diarrhoea and abdominal pains and was vomiting blood before he died.

He had initially been treated for malaria.

Mothers and children sit in the isolation ward in Bundibugyo Hospital, Uganda.
Jake Lyell / Alamy

The World Health Organisation's Africa office confirmed there are currently eight suspected cases receiving care in a health facility.

They added in a statement that the WHO was working with Ugandan health authorities to trace its location and had deployed further medical staff to Mubende.

WHO Africa Regional Director Matshidiso Moeti said action has been taken swiftly to address the outbreak of the rare strain.

"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,” she said, as per a WHO statement.

"Uganda is no stranger to effective Ebola control."

Blood samples being tested for ebola.
felipe caparros cruz / Alamy

Dr Moeti added: "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."

There have been seven previous outbreaks of the Ebola Sudan strain, four in Uganda and three in Sudan.

The last Sudan strain outbreak in Uganda was in 2012.

There is no approved vaccine for the relatively rare Sudan strain.

Fatality rates for the Sudan strain have varied from 41 per cent to the shockingly-high 100 per cent in past outbreaks, Health Policy Watch reports.

Although the Sudan strain can be a grim diagnosis, Ugandan health authorities are confident that they have already lessened the numbers of infections and deaths by hitting hard, fast, and early with protective measures to combat the disease.

Featured Image Credit: Phanie / Alamy. WHO.

Topics: Health, World News, News