In a hastily organized press conference at 9 pm on Tuesday, minister of Health Jane Ruth Aceng said the confirmed case is of 5-year-old boy who'd travelled with his mother to Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to nurse her father who succumbed to Ebola. In preparation for a possible imported case during the current outbreak in DRC, Uganda has vaccinated almost 4 700 health workers in 165 health facilities (including in the facility where the child is being cared for); disease monitoring has been intensified; and health workers trained on recognising symptoms of the disease.
The news will likely to increase pressure on the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare the outbreak a public health emergency of worldwide concern.
"It's never good news to have Ebola", he said, but suggested the preparatory work should help contain the threat. There, a dozen family members appeared to have symptoms and were transferred to an isolation centre at the local hospital for observation. The Ugandan Ministry of Health and the WHO have dispatched a rapid response team to the area. The outbreak is unfolding amid unprecedented challenges of rebel attacks and community resistance in a region that had never experienced Ebola before. Of the group, seven are children, ranging in age from 7 months to 12 years of age. Health facilities to treat the diseases are relatively robust.
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Congo's health ministry in a separate statement said the boy, from Mabalako, arrived on Monday at Congo's Kasindi border post. He sought treatment at Kagando hospital and was transferred to Bwera Ebola treatment unit, World Health Organization said.
All the other Congolese family members have since been isolated at Bwera Ebola Treatment Unit and two of them had their blood samples taken and sent to the Uganda Virus Institute (UVRI) after they too developed symptoms similar to that of Ebola. He was tested for the virus there. The provinces sit on the eastern side of the country, bordering South Sudan, Uganda, and Rwanda.