Outbreak of Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever in Uganda


The World Health Organisation has been monitoring an extensive outbreak of Ebola haemorrhagic fever in the Bundibugyo District of western Uganda on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. The number of suspected cases has now risen to 93, including 22 fatalities. Initially the diagnosis was thought to be Marburg fever as the clinical picture appeared more consistent with this haemorrhagic disease. Laboratory analysis has confirmed the presence of a new species of the virus in nine of these cases. Four health care workers are among the fatalities. To date 327 contacts have been identified and tracing and follow-up of these contacts is being undertaken. 

Laboratory support is being provided by laboratory experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, USA.

Isolation wards have been established in local hospitals and additional training in counselling, infection control and burial is being provided. Agencies in the field, including UNICEF, Médecins Sans Frontières and WHO, are providing support to the health authorities with logistics and provision of drugs and Personal Protection Equipment. Active case finding in more remote communities is ongoing. Ecological studies into the new species of Ebola that has been detected in this outbreak are also being planned.

WHO is currently advising that there is no indication for restrictions on travel or trade with Uganda.  However it would seem prudent to avoid the affected areas - see http://foreignaffairs.gov.ie/home/index.aspx?id=8594