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Ebola Case Reported Near Lake Albert

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Today, Ituri province Vice Governor Keta Upar said in a statement that the latest Ebola case had been reported in Tchomia on the shores of Lake Albert, making it the closest the disease has come to Uganda.
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The Ministry of Health has put all District Health Officers on high alert following confirmation of another case of Ebola on the shores of Lake Albert, at a border point where hundreds of travellers cross into Uganda from the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

The current Ebola outbreak in the North Kivu and Ituri provinces was officially declared on 1 August and has since killed 97 people. Another 46 are believed to be infected, while more than 1,750 are under active surveillance, according to the World Health Organization.

The situation has been tense at the Uganda-Congo border with increased surveillance and sensitization drives since three deaths were reported in the city of Butembo, 51 kilometers from the Mpondwe border post. The post is a hub for Congolese mineral exports and imports from East African ports through Uganda.

Today, Ituri province Vice Governor Keta Upar said in a statement that the latest Ebola case had been reported in Tchomia on the shores of Lake Albert, making it the closest the disease has come to Uganda.

Dr Henry Mwebesa, Director General of Health Services says that all district health officers in the ten high risk districts should be on alert and closely follow all suspected cases in order to ensure that they tame the contagious disease which causes hemorrhagic fever, vomiting and diarrhea.

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The World Health organisation said earlier that it was aiding Uganda to set up the “ring vaccination” strategy being used in Congo in order to ensure that the deadly disease does not cross the borders. Under the strategy, every contact of an Ebola case including health workers and family members is traced and vaccinated.

According to Dr Mwebesa, several suspected cases of Ebola have been reported in the country since the outbreak was declared in North Kivu. "We have had many cases but thank God they have all been negative so far. None of them has tested positive."

Dr Mwebesa also called upon DHOs from other parts of the country to be vigilant and on high alert since Ebola can easily reach other areas.

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Uganda has had five outbreaks since 2000, the latest in 2017.