The Ebola outbreak in Uganda claimed 29 lives, including four health workers, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday, concerned about the ineffectiveness of vaccines against the so-called strain. “Sudanese” of the virus.
“Vaccines successfully used to stem the recent Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are not effective against the type of Ebola virus responsible for this outbreak.” in Uganda, WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press conference. “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 ethical clearances from the Ugandan government.”he precised.
Soumya Swaminathan, WHO chief scientist, explained that there are about six candidate vaccines against the Sudanese strain of the Ebola virus. “Mostly in the very early stages of development”. “But three of them have human, immunogenicity and safety data, so they can be used in the field as part of a ring vaccination campaign, as was done for the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. year ago “she said.
On 20 September the Ugandan Ministry of Health announced the presence of a “epidemic” of the Ebola virus in Uganda after the death of a 24-year-old young man. According to WHO Africa, this case stems from a strain “relatively rare” Sudanese strain, which had not been reported in Uganda since 2012. According to the WHO regional office, although there is no specific treatment for this strain, early case identification and treatment of symptoms are considerably increasing the chances of survival.
More than $ 2 million raised
So far, 63 confirmed and probable cases have been identified, including 29 deaths, Dr Tedros said. 10 health workers were infected and 4 died. “When there is a delay in detecting an Ebola outbreak, it is common for cases to increase steadily at first and then decrease as life-saving interventions and outbreak control measures continue.”explained the head of the WHO.
Jane Ruth Aceng Ocero, Uganda’s health minister, announced on Twitter the death of a 58-year-old anesthesiologist early Wednesday. Uganda has already experienced outbreaks of Ebola, a disease discovered in 1976 in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo. In 2000, 200 people died in Uganda during an epidemic in the north of the country.
As of December 2013 in southern Guinea, the most violent Ebola outbreak in history hit West Africa until 2016, killing over 11,300 people. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has experienced more than a dozen outbreaks since 1976, but they have been caused by the strain “Zaire” against which vaccines are effective. This hemorrhagic fever is transmitted to humans from infected animals. Human transmission occurs through body fluids, with the main symptoms of fever, vomiting, bleeding, diarrhea.
Dr Tedros said WHO released $ 2 million from its emergency reserve fund to help fight the Uganda outbreak. The organization is working with its partners to strengthen the health response by sending specialists and medical supplies.
President Yoweri Museveni last week ruled out any blockade, saying the country had the ability to contain the outbreak. The first cases were recorded in the Mubende district, in the center of the country, before spreading to the neighboring districts of Kassanda, Kyegegwa and Kagadi. Mubende is about a two-hour drive from the capital Kampala and is located along a busy road leading into the Democratic Republic of the Congo. According to WHO Africa, there are gold mines in the region, which attract people from different parts of Uganda, as well as from other countries.
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