A child in Uganda has tested positive for Ebola, the first confirmed case of the disease in the country since the ongoing outbreak in neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo began in August, the World Health Organization said.
The 5-year-old Congolese child entered the country with his family through the Bwera Border post Sunday seeking medical care at Kagando Hospital, near the western border with DMC, when staff identified that the child may be sick with Ebola, WHO said in a release.
Confirmation of the disease was made Tuesday by the Uganda Virus Institute and the child was admitted to the Bwera Ebola Treatment Unit where he is receiving treatment while contacts are being monitored, WHO said.
The Uganda Ministry of Health said the child is being kept in isolation.
Because of the affirmed case, the Uganda Ministry of Health and WHO have dispatched a Rapid Response Team to Kasese to recognize other people who might be tainted with the disease.
The declaration comes as WHO with the DRC have been engaging to contain the second-most prominent Ebola flare-up in history that, as of June 4, has brought about 1,346 passings in the African nation and outperformed 2,000 affirmed cases since the episode started last August. The quantity of affirmed cases has been developing every week with them detonating in March, as per WHO.
In a statement, the DRC Ministry of Health said the child and 14 family members arrived at the DRC border town of Kasindi where 12 of them were listed by health officials as symptomatic, stopped from entering Uganda and transferred to an isolation center at Kasindi Hospital. Seven of the suspected cases are children, one as young as 7 months.
That night, six relatives left the disconnection and crossed into Uganda by walking to maintain a strategic distance from health checks.
“Congolese health authorities immediately notified the Ugandan authorities and provided them with the names and phone numbers of suspected cases,” the DRC health ministry said.
The boy and his family were then found at Kagando Hospital, where he and five other relatives were transferred and isolated at the Bwera ETU, it said.
The DRC health ministry said the boy’s mother, who is Congolese and married to a Ugandan, traveled to DRC in May to care for her ailing father, who died May 27 of Ebola.
The remaining six relatives were moved Tuesday to the Beni Ebola Treatment Center in the DRC and their examples were being examined.
Authorities with both the Uganda and DRC health ministries will meet Wednesday in Kasese to talk about the repatriation of the family to the DRC to proceed with treatment here.
The Uganda Ministry of Health said that in preparation of a possible outbreak in the country, it has vaccinated nearly 4,700 health workers at 165 medical facilities with a new vaccine, which is being used in the DRC.
In late May, WHO appointed an emergency Ebola response coordinate to the DRC outbreak.
The disease has been difficult to contain there due to instability and political protests, which have caused disruptions to efforts to fight the disease, WHO said.