The Ministry of Health in Uganda, on Tuesday, announced the country’s first fatality from the highly widespread Ebola virus since 2019, declaring an outburst in the central district of Mubende.
“The confirmed case is a 24-year-old make with EVD symptoms and later succumbed,” the ministry said on Twitter, using an abbreviation for Ebola virus disease.
In a statement broadcasted earlier on Tuesday, the World Health Organization said a 24-year-old man in Mubende had tested positive for “the relatively rare Sudan strain” of the virus.
“This follows an investigation by the National Rapid Response team of six suspicious deaths that have occurred in the district this month,” WHO said.
Eight other suspected patients were undergoing medication, WHO said.
The death rate is generally high, ranging up to 90 percent in some outbreaks, according to the WHO.
First identified in 1976 in the DRC (then Zaire), the virus, whose natural host is the bat, has since set off a cycle of waves in Africa, killing around 15,000 people.
Human transmission is through body fluids, with the main indications being fever, vomiting, bleeding and diarrhoea.
Outbreaks are difficult to comprise, especially in urban settings.
People who are infected do not become contagious until symptoms arise, which is after an incubation period of between two and 21 days.
At present there is no licenced medication to prevent or treat Ebola, although a range of experimental drugs are in development and thousands have been vaccinated in the DRC and some neighboring countries.
The worst epidemic in West Africa between 2013 and 2016 killed more than 11,300 alone.
The DRC has had more than a dozen epidemics, the deadliest killing 2,280 people in 2020.