The Ebola virus continues to spread in Uganda. This time, it is the region of Kampala, the capital, which is affected. Health Minister Ruth Jane Aceng said on Monday that there had been 14 confirmed cases in the past two days, 9 of which were contact cases of a deceased person in Kassanda, one of the two central districts. of the country, the epicenter of the epidemic.
The Ebola epidemic which has been raging in the country of the Great Lakes region since the end of September has killed 44 people, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced on October 19. Ugandan health authorities said on Monday that the country had recorded 90 cases, including 28 deaths. The figures published by the Kampala authorities only count deaths among confirmed patients.
Of the 9 named contact cases in the Kampala area, the minister continued, 7 are members of a family residing in Masanafu, a densely populated slum in Kampala, which is near the Kasubi Royal Tombs, a heritage site. UNESCO World Heritage Site, close to two of the country’s main private universities.
Situation “under control”
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni ordered on October 15 the confinement of the districts of Kassanda and Mubende, epicentres of the epidemic, with a travel ban, curfew and closure of places open to the public. But the Minister of Health wanted to be reassuring on Monday, saying that the situation in Kampala was “under control and that there is no need to limit the movement of the population”.
The inhabitants of the capital, populated by around 1.5 million people, however, remain worried. “The government hasn’t done much to educate the people of Kampala about the Ebola virus,” said Rebecca Nanyonga, a 27-year-old mother of two, continuing, “Parties and concerts are still going on, but sickness is among us. “I had relaxed when the Covid cases went down, but I am now putting back restrictions, including visits to my home,” said Ronald Kibwika, a 45-year-old businessman.
Human transmission is through bodily fluids, with the main symptoms being fevers, vomiting, possibly and avoided. Epidemics are difficult to contain, especially in urban areas. Uganda has experienced several Ebola epidemics, the last of which was in 2019. There is currently no vaccine against the strain of Ebola virus, known as the “Sudanese strain”, which is currently raging in the country. The WHO announced on October 12 that clinical trials of vaccines against this strain could begin “in the coming weeks” in Uganda.