Health

Ebola: Infected Congolese Trader Buys Fish at Uganda Border; Dies In DRC

The Ministry of Health and World Health Organization (WHO) are identifying contacts of a person from the Democratic Republic of Congo who visited Uganda to trade in fish last week before returning to DRC, where she later died of Ebola.

“At present there is no confirmed Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) case in Kasese District or any other part of Uganda,” the Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

Ministry of Health and WHO surveillance teams established that on Thursday 11th July 2019, a trader with symptoms consistent with Ebola had been in Uganda to buy fish at Mpondwe market.

She was a well-known and regular trader at the market.

The surveillance teams established that she had four episodes of vomiting on the day she was in the country.

On Friday July 12, 2019, she travelled back to Beni and was admitted in the Beni Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) the following day.

She died on Monday, July 15, 2019 in the ETU after testing positive for Ebola.

Health Ministry publicist, Emmanuel Ainebyoona, said the deceased “did not use the formal border entry point where she would have passed through temperature screening and provided with necessary care by the health workers.”

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“The Ministry of Health response team is identifying and following up all people who came into contact with the trader with the collaboration of colleagues in DRC,” he added.

Ugandan health officials have been working around the clock to prevent spread of Ebola from DRC. A boy from DRC recently succumbed to Ebola in Uganda.

As part of the response activities, the Ministry with support from WHO, will immediately vaccinate all people who came into contact with the deceased trader in order to control possible spread of the disease in the country.

The Ministry says it also has intensified surveillance and community engagement activities throughout the district.

The public has been urged to remain vigilant and alert.

“Avoid handshaking, hugging, mass gatherings and observe infection, prevention and control practices such as washing hands with soap and clean water at all times both at health facilities and communities,’ the Ministry’s statement reads in part.

The Health Ministry and WHO said in their joint statement that “all places of economic and social interaction in Uganda such as national parks and tourist sites are open and accessible to the public. People are free to visit any place of interest in Uganda.”

The public and international travelers to Uganda have been urged to always seek information on Ebola from official government or WHO sources to avoid misinformation.

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