Uganda Discloses Greater Ebola Threat Than Previously Known

Friday, June 14, 2019
By Paul Martin

By Rick Gladstone
NYTimes.com
June 13, 2019

Uganda’s exposure to Ebola infection from the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo appeared to have increased on Thursday, as the death toll rose to two and three suspected cases were reported in a Ugandan border hospital.

The number of people in Uganda who may have been exposed to carriers of the Ebola virus expanded significantly, from eight to at least 27.

The disclosures, in a Ministry of Health update on its website, suggested an accelerating threat to Uganda from the Ebola virus, which has been ravaging eastern Congo for the past year and was reported to have spread to Uganda this week.

A 5-year-old Congolese boy who entered a border town in western Uganda with his family on June 9 died of Ebola on Wednesday, the first case in Uganda since the Congo outbreak. His 50-year-old grandmother who was traveling with him became the second fatality, the Uganda Health Ministry said on Thursday.

The spread of Ebola to Uganda has alarmed international health officials, who had expressed hope that the outbreak, centered in a recurrent conflict zone in eastern Congo, could be contained and defeated there.

The World Health Organization is convening a meeting of its International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on Friday at its headquarters in Geneva, with expectations it will declare the Ebola outbreak to be what is known as a public health emergency of international concern.

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