Despite numerous previous alerts in Uganda, this is the first instance in which the virus has been identified outside DRC during what has become the worst-ever outbreak in its history.
A five-year-old Congolese boy travelled across the Ugandan border on Sunday, through the Bwera Border post. While seeking medical care at Kagando hospital, health workers identified Ebola as a possible cause of his illness.
The child was transferred to Bwera Ebola Treatment Unit, where the Uganda Virus Institute confirmed the case on Tuesday. The child is currently receiving treatment and his contacts are being monitored.
WHO and the Ugandan Ministry of Health have dispatched a Rapid Response Team to the town of Kasese, close to the DRC border, to identify other people who may be at risk, and ensure they are monitored and provided with care if they also become ill.
Ebola Treatment Units in place
In preparing for the possibility of an imported case, Uganda has vaccinated nearly 4,700 health workers in 165 health facilities; intensified disease monitoring; and trained health workers to recognize symptoms of the disease.
In response to this case, the Ministry is intensifying community education, psychosocial support and injections for unvaccinated at-risk health workers and those who may have been exposed to the young patient.