14 people have died in Uganda this month as a result of an outbreak of the Ebola virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed this at a news conference in Kampala on Saturday.
The disease was first reported in the Kibaale district in Midwestern Uganda. The Ugandan government and WHO released a statement that said "Laboratory investigations done at the Uganda Virus Research Institute have confirmed that the strange disease reported in Kibaale district is indeed Ebola hemorrhagic fever."
WHO’s representative in Uganda, Joaquim Saweka, said that the origin of the outbreak had not yet been confirmed. "A team of experts from the government, WHO and CDC (US Centers for Disease Control) are in the field and following up on all suspected cases and those who got into contact with patients," he said.
14 of these cases, including a family of 12, resulted in death. 6 more people have also been reported with the disease, which causes hemorrhagic fever and internal bleeding.
A national taskforce has been set up to contain the disease. Ebola is transmitted by close contact and can kill up to 90% of those who contract the virus. The disease gets its name from the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where the virus first appeared in 1976. The Kibaale district is near this area.
Hopefully, WHO and the Ugandan government can contain this outbreak. We will keep you posted on the developments.