Patient in Uganda confirmed by WHO to have died from suspected strain of Ebola virus

Nineteen dead and 29 suspected cases hospitalised in Uganda Ebola outbreak

Image of WHO staff in Uganda. Credit: Twitter@WHOAFRO

Authorities in Uganda are investigating the recent death of a patient in a suspected case of a strain of Ebola. Seven cases of Ebola have been confirmed in the country this week, a virus for which it currently has no vaccine.

A 24-year-old man who died was initially being treated for malaria but was later diagnosed as having contracted the Sudan strain of the Ebola virus. It is believed that a second patient may have also died from the same virus but this has yet to be officially confirmed by the authorities who are carrying out tests to establish the cause of death.

As reported in a statement released on Thursday, September 22, an accelerated effort to scale up the response to the Ebola disease outbreak in Uganda, the World Health Organization (WHO) is delivering medical supplies, providing logistics, and deploying staff to support the national authorities in halting the spread of the virus.

The Sudan ebolavirus is one of the six species of the Ebolavirus genus. Forty-three contacts have been identified and 10 people suspected to have caught the virus are receiving treatment at the regional referral hospital in Mubende, the district where the disease was confirmed this week. This is the first time that Uganda has detected the Sudan ebolavirus since 2012.

Mubende is in the central region of Uganda, about a two-hour drive from the capital Kampala. It sits along a busy road leading to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There are gold mines in the area, which attract people from different parts of Uganda, as well as other countries. The mobile nature of the population in Mubende increases the risk of the possible spread of the virus.

A technical team has been deployed to the Mubende district by the WHO to support surveillance, infection prevention, and control the management of cases. They will also assist in the activation of surveillance structures in neighbouring districts. Five international experts will be deployed, with numbers increasing if needed.

“We are acting quickly and decisively to draw the reins on this outbreak. Our experts are already on the ground working with Uganda’s experienced Ebola control teams to reinforce surveillance, diagnosis, treatment, and preventive measures”, said Dr Abdou Salam Gueye, Regional Emergency Director with the WHO Regional Office for Africa.

“Africa’s stronger homegrown emergency readiness is proving ever more crucial in tackling outbreaks such as Ebola”, he added.


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at