Uganda Announces Official End to Ebola Outbreak
© AFP 2023 / BADRU KATUMBACharles Njuguna (R), the Incident Manager for the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Office in Uganda, and Uganda's Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng (3rd R) pose in Entebbe on December 08, 2022 as they receive 1200 doses of Ebola trial vaccine at National Medical Stores.
© AFP 2023 / BADRU KATUMBA
Uganda had been experiencing an outbreak of the Ebola virus since September 2022. Ugandan health authorities registered at least 142 cases of infection with the Sudan strain of the virus, including 56 deaths.
Ugandan health authorities have officially announced the end of the Ebola virus outbreak in the country, over a month after the last known Ebola patient was discharged from the hospital.
“Uganda put a swift end to the Ebola outbreak by ramping up key control measures such as surveillance, contact tracing and infection, prevention and control,” an official statement by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ugandan health ministry reads.
In more than six weeks, widespread testing campaigns have not detected any new cases, according to Ugandan health authorities. According to the World Health Organization, an Ebola outbreak ends if there are no new cases for 42 consecutive days, because the typical incubation period for the virus between exposure and infection is 21 days.
The Ebola outbreak was declared in Uganda in September 2022. The deadly virus infected at least 142 people, among whom it claimed the lives of 56. The variation of the virus circulating in Uganda is the Sudan strain, which is less prevalent in Africa in general than the Zaire variant.
In mid-December, Uganda president Yoweri Museveni announced the removal of all restrictions imposed in response to the Ebola outbreak in the East African country. Prior to that, health authorities announced that the last known Ebola patient in Uganda had been discharged from the hospital and no more cases have been registered to date.
The recent Ebola outbreak in Uganda is not the first one for the African country. The previous outbreaks in Uganda were detected in the years 2000 (224 deaths), 2007, (37 deaths), 2011, (one death), 2012 (21 deaths), and 2019 (four deaths).