One case of Ebola confirmed in Uganda

File A renewed large-scale vaccination programme has been launched to try to counter the outbreak

A five-year-old boy is being treated for Ebola in Uganda, the first case since an outbreak in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo 10 months ago, the World Health Organisation said Tuesday.

Aceng says Ugandan health officials were alerted of the presence of contacts of an Ebola case from DRC and their phone contacts provided for close monitoring by their counterparts across the border.

The agency's director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said at a press conference in that he will convene an advisory body - called an emergency committee - as quickly as possible to review the situation and decide whether the outbreak now poses a global health threat.

The boy was transferred to an Ebola treatment center at Bwera, one of the facilities Uganda has set up in anticipation of the possibility of seeing cases imported from DRC.

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Ministry of health has confirmed Ebola outbreak in Kasese District in western Uganda. All the other Congolese family members are in isolation at Bwera Hospital. Health care workers have widely deployed an effective Ebola vaccine in the affected DRC areas and intensively worked to contain cases, but their response has repeatedly been hampered by violence from the many insurgency groups, including attacks on health care workers and facilities. Uganda officials found the family members at the Kagando hospital, where the boy's Ebola case was confirmed.

Ebola virus disease is a severe illness that is spread through contact with the body fluids such as vomit, blood and faeces of a person sick with the disease. Since the epidemic began in August in eastern Congo, the Congo health ministry said on Monday that it had recorded 2,062 cases including 1,390 deaths.

According to the WHO, Uganda vaccinated almost 4,700 health workers in 165 facilities with an experimental drug created to protect them against the virus.

The East African nation has had multiple outbreaks of Ebola and other hemorrhagic fevers since 2000.

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