Two more people in an isolation unit of Mulago national referral hospital have tested positive for Ebola, bringing the total cases recorded in Uganda’s main hospital to five, according to the health minister.
The five confirmed cases at the facility are the first known transmission of the virus in Kampala city, coming days after the information ministry said the country’s virus outbreak was coming under control and was expected to be over by the end of the year.
Health Minister, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng said the cases are contacts to the Kassanda District Ebola victim who died at the facility.
“Two more contacts to the Kassanda case, who are quarantined in Mulago Isolation facility, tested positive for Ebola yesterday, October 22. They have been transferred to the Entebbe ETU. This brings the total number of Ebola cases in Kampala to five. Be alert and remain vigilant,” Dr. Aceng tweeted on Sunday.
Mid this week, the World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press briefing in Geneva that: “We remain concerned that there may be more chains of transmission and more contacts than we know about in the affected communities.”
According to him, the positive cases at the country’s main hospital increase “the risks of transmission in the city” of 1.5 million people.
Ebola is spread through bodily fluids, with common symptoms being fever, vomiting, bleeding, and diarrhoea.
Outbreaks are difficult to contain, especially in urban environments.
Uganda’s last recorded fatality from a previous Ebola outbreak was in 2019.
The particular strain now circulating in Uganda is known as the Sudan Ebola virus, for which there is currently no vaccine.
The World Health Organization says clinical trials could start within weeks on drugs to combat that strain.