On September 20th, 2022, the Ministry of Health in Uganda, in collaboration with the World Health Organization - Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO), confirmed an outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) due to Sudan ebolavirus in the Mubende District of Uganda. This marks the fifth outbreak of EVD caused by Sudan ebolavirus in the country.
The outbreak was first identified when a 24-year-old man from the Ngabano village of the Madudu sub-county in the Mubende District was hospitalized with symptoms of high fever, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and vomiting blood. Samples were collected on September 17th and the patient was laboratory-confirmed to have EVD on September 19th. Unfortunately, the patient died on the same day, five days after being hospitalized.
As of January 11th, 2023, a total of 142 confirmed cases of EVD caused by Sudan ebolavirus have been reported, with 55 deaths (case fatality rate (CFR) of 39%) and 87 recoveries. In addition, 22 probable cases were reported, with all individuals dying before samples could be taken for confirmation. The overall CFR including probable cases is 47%.
The outbreak also affected healthcare workers, with at least 19 healthcare workers infected, seven of whom died. Over 4,000 contacts were followed up for 21 days (WHO AFRO News).
The outbreak affected a total of nine Ugandan districts: Bunyangabu, Jinja, Kagadi, Kampala, Kassanda, Kyegegwa, Masaka, Mubende, and Wakiso.
It is important to note that this is not the first time that Uganda has dealt with EVD caused by Sudan ebolavirus. The country has experienced four previous outbreaks, with the most recent one occurring in 2012. However, this is the first time that the outbreak has spread to multiple districts.
Given the severity of EVD and the potential for it to spread rapidly, it is crucial that the necessary measures are taken to control the outbreak and prevent its further spread. The Ministry of Health and WHO AFRO have been working closely together to respond to the outbreak, implementing measures such as contact tracing, case management, and community engagement.
It is also important for individuals to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves from the virus. This includes practicing good hygiene, such as regularly washing hands with soap and water, avoiding close contact with individuals who are showing symptoms of EVD, and seeking medical attention immediately if symptoms are present.
In conclusion, the outbreak of EVD caused by Sudan ebolavirus in Uganda serves as a reminder of the ongoing threat that Ebola poses, not just in Uganda but globally. It also highlights the importance of being prepared and having the necessary measures in place to respond quickly and effectively to outbreaks. With the ongoing efforts of the Ministry of Health and WHO AFRO, we can work towards bringing the outbreak under control and preventing further spread of the virus.
On January 11th, 2023, the Ministry of Health in Uganda, in collaboration with the World Health Organization - Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO), declared the end of the fifth outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) caused by Sudan ebolavirus in the country.