Ebola haemorrhagic fever outbreak in Uganda


Uganda is currently experiencing an outbreak of Ebola haemorrhagic fever. As of 7th August, 60 suspected cases have been reported, including 16 deaths. Two similar outbreaks have been seen in the past in Uganda. Through these, Uganda has developed experience in dealing with such outbreaks, with the support of the World Health Organization, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and specialised non-governmental organisations.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has published a rapid risk assessment of the current situation in Uganda. The report warns that as the incubation period can be up to three weeks, it is likely that additional cases will be identified locally in the coming weeks. However, control measures currently implemented in Uganda such as isolation of cases and active monitoring of contacts, should prevent further spread of the disease.

It is unlikely, but not impossible, that travellers infected in Uganda could arrive in the EU while incubating the disease and develop symptoms while in the EU. However, such cases should seek medical attention and be isolated, therefore preventing further transmission. EU citizens in Uganda are not at risk of becoming infected unless they are in direct contact with bodily fluids of dead or living infected persons or animals. Avoiding such contact would effectively mitigate this risk.

The ECDC Rapid risk assessment on the outbreak of Ebola haemorrhagic fever in Uganda is available to read here.