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With Ebola Outbreak, Uganda Places Two Regions in Lockdown

That country is trying to contain the virus to prevent further cases, as well as other African countries met to try to prevent an outbreak inside their own borders.


The President of Uganda announced yesterday he was locking down 2 regions within his country to avoid further spread of the Ebola virus.

In his announcement, President Yoweri Museveni said they were enforcing a three-week lockdown in two high risk districts, Mubende and Kassanda, where movement in and out of those areas will stop. The exception will be cargo trucks.

This Ebola virus has been identified as the Sudan strain, which has been responsible for five of the last six outbreaks in Uganda.

Back on September 20, Uganda’s Ministry of Health declared in an outbreak of Ebola. In a statement by the country’s health ministry on October 7, there were 44 confirmed cases and 10 deaths from the disease. As of yesterday, the numbers had increased to 63 cases and 29 deaths. The 10-day difference from October 7 and October 17 illustrates the severity of the virus especially the high mortality rate.

Thus far, the outbreak has been seen in five districts in the country including the following: Mubende, Kyegegwa, Kassanda, Kagadi, and Bunyangabu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The federal agency also said in a statement it had sent a Rapid Response team to support efforts there including investigating deaths and contact tracing. The team is also aiding in other areas related to surveillance, epidemiology, laboratory, communication, and ecological investigations.

According to the Ugandan Ministry of Health, all the cases have been more than 100km away from the country’s capital city Kampala.

In fact, last Monday the Ministers of Health and government representatives from 9 African countries met to discuss how to prevent outbreaks in that city and beyond. The World Health Organization (WHO) said that the meeting was convened with their organization and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). They hosted a High-Level Emergency Ministerial meeting on Cross Border Collaboration for Preparedness and Response to Ebola Disease Outbreaks. From the meeting, the Ministers of Health from the African countries agreed on joint plans to carry out cross-border readiness, including raising public awareness and conducting community engagement campaigns. They also agreed to the rapid cross-border deployment of medical personnel to tackle the disease, according to the WHO.

The CDC reminds the public this is a rare, bur serious disease that is transmitted by blood and bodily fluids and zoonotic experiences such as interactions with fruit bats and apes and monkeys could also lead to transmission. The disease is not spread through airborne particles.

“When people become infected with Ebola, they do not start developing signs or symptoms right away. This period between exposure to an illness and having symptoms is known as the incubation period,” the CDC writes on its site. “A person can only spread Ebola to other people after they develop signs and symptoms of Ebola.”