What You Need To Know About The Latest Ebola Outbreak In Uganda

Health authorities in Uganda declared an outbreak of Ebola on September 20, 2022. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that a laboratory confirmed that a patient from the Mubende district in central Uganda had the disease. As of September 25, 2022, there are 18 confirmed cases, 18 probable cases, and 23 deaths from Mubende and neighboring districts, Kyegegwa and Kassanda. Experts stated that this type of Ebola is caused by the Sudan ebolavirus.

Ebola is serious, and often fatal in humans, but it is also rare. Symptoms often appear within two to 21 days after exposure, and they typically appear in stages. Early signs include fever, joint pain, headaches, fatigue, and a sore throat. Later symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and bleeding. Other symptoms include red eyes, a rash, and hiccups, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The WHO reports that the average death rate for the Sudan Ebolavirus has ranged anywhere between 41% and 100% in past outbreaks.

There is no vaccine for the Sudan Ebolavirus

The BBC reports that this particular Ebola outbreak is serious because it took three weeks to detect the first case. Some experts think that the number of people who have died from the disease is higher than what has been reported. To make matters worse, there is no vaccine for Sudan Ebolavirus. This means healthcare workers (six of whom have already contracted the disease) do not have an additional layer of protection. CBS News reports that experts are working to develop a vaccine, noting that there are six possible candidates. That said, none are in the final phases of clinical trials.

The Ebola virus spreads when a person comes into contact with bodily fluids, including blood, semen, saliva, sweat, breast milk, tears, urine, feces, and vomit. Humans can also contract the disease if they are exposed to an infected animal or items that have become contaminated. For example, clothing, door knobs, linens, common surfaces, and medical equipment can carry germs (via Mayo Clinic).