Uganda - Health workers among 29 killed in Uganda Ebola outbreak
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Mubende, Mubende district, Buganda Region
The World Health Organization says 63 confirmed and probable cases of Ebola have been reported in Uganda, including 29 deaths. WHO chief Tedros Ghebreyesus has warned that the Ebola outbreak, declared two weeks ago, was taking a deadly toll on health workers as well as patients. There are six variants of the Ebolavirus genus and the one circulating in Uganda is the Sudan Ebolavirus - for which there is no vaccine. "Ten health workers have been infected and four have died. Four people have recovered and are receiving follow-up care," Tedros told a press conference in Geneva on Wednesday. Ugandan Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng Ocero said a 58-year-old anaesthetist had died of Ebola early Wednesday, following the deaths of a Tanzanian doctor, a health assistant and a midwife.
Tedros said the vaccines used successfully to curb recent outbreaks of the Zaire Ebolavirus variant in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo did not provide cross-protection against the Sudan ebolavirus. "However, several vaccines are in various stages of development against this virus, two of which could begin clinical trials in Uganda in the coming weeks, pending regulatory and ethics approvals from the Ugandan government," he said. There are at least six candidate vaccines against the Sudan variant, of which three have made it far enough to be tested on humans, producing so-called Phase 1 safety and immunogenicity data. Uganda announces first death in latest outbreak of Ebola As struggle against Covid continues, DR Congo announces end of Ebola outbreakWHO sending specialists, resources. The initial outbreak was discovered in the central district of Mubende. There are gold mines in the Mubende area, which attract people from across Uganda, as well as other countries. According to the WHO's Africa regional office, "The mobile nature of the population in Mubende increases the risk of a possible spread of the virus." Infections have since been found in Kassanda, Kyegegwa and Kagadi districts. Meanwhile, the WHO has released some €2 million from its contingency fund for emergencies and is working with partners to support the health ministry by sending additional specialists, supplies and resources. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has vowed not to impose any lockdowns to tackle the disease, saying last week that there was "no need for anxiety".