Uganda tightens border, bans gatherings as second Ebola death confirmed

Thursday, June 13, 2019
By Paul Martin

By Katie Hunt and Samson Ntale
June 13, 2019

(CNN)Ugandan authorities beefed up border controls and banned public gatherings in the region affected by Ebola Thursday, confirming a second death after the disease was first detected in the country this week.

The country’s health ministry said that a 50-year-old grandmother had died on Wednesday evening after arriving in Uganda on June 10 from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where Ebola has killed more than 1,300 people since August.
The woman’s 5-year-old grandson also died from the disease and his 3-year-old brother was confirmed to have contracted Ebola. The health ministry said that there were three suspected cases not related to the family and their blood samples had been sent for testing.

“The outbreak is REAL and we urge all residents of Uganda to remain vigilant and report any suspected cases to the nearest health facility,” said the Thursday statement from Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng of Uganda’s Ministry of Health.
The World Health Organization has scheduled an emergency meeting to be held Friday in Geneva to decide whether the Congo Ebola outbreak that crossed the border into Uganda this week constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

This will be the third such meeting since the outbreak began. The most recent one in April when the health body decided not to declare the outbreak an international health emergency — a move that drew criticism from some. WHO defines a public health emergency of international concern as “an extraordinary event” that constitutes a “public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease” and “to potentially require a coordinated international response.”

The Congo outbreak is both the second largest and second deadliest Ebola outbreak in history. The epicenter is in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, among the most populous in the Congo and bordering Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan.
Concern had been mounting that the infectious disease would spread across the border, underscored by an increase in the number of cases in recent weeks.

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