Uganda’s Luweero district to be declared Ebola free next week
In a follow-up story from Central Uganda, the country’s Ministry of Health announced if no new Ebola cases are registered in Luweero district, it will be declared Ebola free next Wednesday, Jan. 16, according to a New Vision report Jan. 9.
According to the report, The declaration will follow the completion of the 42 days countdown period since the last patient was discharged from the isolation Centre. The 42 days is a World Health Organization (WHO) requirement that must be met before declaring the end of an outbreak.
The Luweero outbreak occurredabout 6 weeks after the Ebola outbreak in Kibaale district was declared over.
According to the most recent WHO Global Alert and Response on the Luweero outbreak dated Nov. 30, 2012, as of 28 November 2012, the Ministry of Health in Uganda reported 7 cases (6 confirmed, 1 probable) with Ebola hemorrhagic fever in Luweero and Kampala districts. Of these cases, 4 died.
Permanent Secretary Asuman Lukwago said the declaration will be for Luweero district only. “Due to the repeated out breaks we have decided to declare district by district free from the out breaks meaning that if Ebola is declared free in Luweero, we shall declare it free in that district” he said.
Some key facts about Ebola hemorrhagic fever include:
- The Ebola virus causes severe viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF) outbreaks in humans.
- Viral hemorrhagic fever outbreaks have a case fatality rate of up to 90%.
- Ebola hemorrhagic fever outbreaks occur primarily in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests.
- The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.
- Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are considered to be the natural host of the Ebola virus.
- There is no treatment or vaccine available for either people or animals.
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