Uganda can now be easily declared to be free from Ebola, a pandemic which has been wreaking havoc in the country since last September.
It is more than 40 days now since the last patient walked out of the hospital totally cured.
It is anticipated that if the country doesn’t register any new Ebola virus disease case by Wednesday Jan 11, the official declaration will be announced.
Ebola outbreaks erupted in September 2022 and four months later the disease has killed 56 people, including a Tanzanian who was taking medical studies in Kampala.
The Eastern Africa country confirms 142 Ebola cases in the three months’ period but as of January 2023 no new patient has been enlisted.
By January 9, 2023 Uganda had registered 42 days without a single case.
The World Health Organization requires 42 consecutive days without new cases for a country to be declared Ebola-Free.
The 42 days are usually also the incubation period for the Ebola Virus.
The Ugandan Ministry of Health is thus on the verge of declaring the country to be free of the deadly pandemic.
Emmanuel Ainebyoona is the spokesperson for the Ministry of Health who assures that the declaration ceremony to which all journalists are invited takes place in Mubende District, the hotspot for the ebola pandemic.
The last confirmed Ebola patient in Uganda was discharged from hospital on November 30.
Recent outbreak of the Ebola pandemic was caused by the Sudan strain of the virus, for which there is currently no vaccine.
Uganda is however still testing three new potential vaccines.
One serum has been developed by Oxford University and the Jenner Institute in Britain, the second from the Sabin Vaccine Institute in the United States, while the third comes from the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI).
Named after a river in the DR Congo, Ebola is an often fatal viral hemorrhagic fever. It was discovered in Zaire in 1976.
Human transmission is through body fluids, with the main symptoms being fever, vomiting, bleeding and diarrhea, with outbreaks difficult to contain, especially in urban environments.
Affected victims don’t become contagious until symptoms appear. This is usually after an incubation period of between two and 21 days.
Sharing a rather porous border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda has faced a series of Ebola outbreaks. Previously the disease killed five people in 2019.
Ebola’s worst onslaught occurred in West Africa between 2013 and 2016 when more than 11,300 people died.
Being the epicenter DR Congo has experienced more than ten outbreaks so far. The worst case occurred in 2020 claiming the lives of 2,280 people.