Two people have died so far in the latest Ebola outbreak in Uganda, the Daily Monitor reported. A five-year-old child died on Wednesday at an Ebola treatment unit at Bwera Hospital in Mpondwe-Lhubiriha town council. His grandmother died later in the day at the same hospital.
Ebola is a highly infectious, and often fatal, disease. The illness causes internal bleeding and is easily transmitted through contact with small amounts of bodily fluid. Its flu-like symptoms make it hard to diagnose.
The boy’s three-year-old brother has also been infected with the virus, AP reported. The country’s health ministry sounded an Ebola alert on Tuesday evening after the five-year-old boy was found infected.
The family had quietly crossed the border from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the news agency said. Health ministry spokesman Emmanuel Ainebyoona on Thursday confirmed the woman’s death. The Congo’s health ministry said all members of the Congolese-Ugandan family have agreed to be repatriated to the country for clinical trials.
An expert committee of the World Health Organisation will meet on Friday to discuss the latest cases, and decide whether to declare a global health emergency.
Meanwhile, three people suspected of having contracted the virus escaped from a medical facility in Kihihi town council in Kanungu District in western Uganda on Wednesday, the Daily Monitor reported. They have been identified as Saddi Muhima, 46, his 19-year-old son Issa Muhima, and Milton Nsenga, all from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
All three were admitted to the isolation ward on Wednesday morning after they displayed Ebola-like symptoms shortly after arriving at the Munyaga border crossing. However, the patients fled the health centre while health workers were preparing to draw their blood samples, said Kanungu Health Inspector Kato Besisira.
The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which began in August, has so far taken 1,400 lives. More than 11,300 people died in an Ebola outbreak in West Africa between 2013 and 2016, according to the World Health Organisation.