Ebola outbreak spreads to Uganda and kills boy, 5, World Health Organization confirms

Ebola outbreak spreads to Uganda and kills boy, 5, World Health Organization confirms

Results of these tests will be known tomorrow, said Uganda's ministry of health.

According to the Ministry of Health, a five-year-old boy from Uganda returned from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on 10 June. The erroneous claims are also spreading at a time when Border Patrol officials said last week there has been a "dramatic" rise in the number of migrants arriving at the Texas border from African countries, although they remain a small fraction of the total number of migrants apprehended.

The mother and child traveled to DRC to attend the burial of the boy's grandfather who died of Ebola. It is spread through contact with the body fluids such as vomit, blood or faeces of a person sick with the disease. The patient is a 5-year-old boy who has been admitted to Bwera hospital's isolation unit. Hoskins led Medical Teams' Ebola response efforts in Liberia during the disease's deadliest outbreak in modern history.

"Many people are evading (border) customs and using small footpaths and it is hard for us to follow the contacts", Kabongo said.

Officials in Congo and Uganda agreed that the sick patients "should be repatriated back to DRC where they can get therapeutic care which is not available in Uganda", the World Health Organization tweeted Wednesday.

The World Health Organization announced an emergency committee would meet Friday to determine whether to upgrade its assessment of the situation to "a public health emergency of worldwide concern", having held off previously because the outbreak was contained to one part of DRC. "Now this means containing this outbreak and making sure it doesn't become an epidemic", Hoskins said.

This outbreak "is not going to go beyond" the boy's family in Uganda, he added.

More than 300 travellers have been screened since the outbreak was reported, Port Health Services Officer Joshua Arusei told the Nation on Wednesday. Some people wade across the shallow Lubiriha River instead of using a bridge to avoid being stopped by officials. Uganda has vaccinated almost 4,700 health workers so far.

Uganda health minister Jane Ruth Aceng says, following a meeting with their Congolese counterparts in Kasese district on Wednesday, the authorities have resolved to have the five confirmed and suspected cases repatriated to Congo because the family has relatives there and therefore would feel more comfortable having their relatives by their side.

Rwanda earlier this year announced it would give front-line health workers an experimental but effective Ebola vaccine as concerns rose about cross-border spread of the highly contagious virus.

The World Health Organisation declined to declare Ebola a global health emergency back in April, largely because Ebola hadn't yet travelled across worldwide borders. But global spread is one of the major criteria the United Nations agency considers before such a declaration.

Zabulan Yoti, director for health emergencies at the Africa regional office of the World Health Organization, is optimistic.

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