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Uganda's widening Ebola outbreak tops 100 cases; more deaths reported

Uganda's health ministry today reported 14 more lab-confirmed Ebola cases, pushing the outbreak total to 109. Health officials also reported 2 more deaths, raising the total to 30. Earlier in the outbreak before the first cases were confirmed, the ministry reported 20 suspected cases, all of them fatal.

At a media briefing today, Uganda Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng Ocero, MBChB, MPH, said 45 people are being treated for their infections.

The World Health Organization (WHO) African regional office said in its latest weekly health emergencies update that Uganda's outbreak has expanded to two more districts, Kampala and Wakiso, raising the number of affected locations to seven. It warned that further expansion of the outbreak is possible, given that high-risk contacts have been identified for follow-up in five yet-unaffected districts.

Uganda is making progress with case management but needs more isolation units, ambulances, human resources, and funding to battle the outbreak, the WHO said.

Meanwhile, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said yesterday that it is stepping up its response. It said its teams will expand to help with the response, including medical care, in Kampala.

MSF is currently supporting the treatment of sick people in Mubende, the outbreak's epicenter. One 40-bed treatment facility has been completed there, and another 40-bed unit with the capacity to provide intensive are is under construction in the same area. An 8-bed unit in Madudu is up and running. MSF also said it stands ready to help with clinical trials of vaccines and treatments for the less common Sudan Ebola virus that is fueling the country's outbreak.

[Source: CIDRAP News, University of Minnesota, 26Oct22]

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