An Ebola outbreak is spreading fears among locals in the East African nation. The World Health Organization is already monitoring the situation, so health experts can curb the deadly virus from spreading to more African regions.
However, the WHO is calling for help from the international community amid uncertainty, as Ebola cases are steadily being detected in the region.
The health agency has already detected 74 confirmed cases of the Ebola virus in East Africa’s five districts. Of the 74 cases, 39 died from the virus, and 14 have recovered.
The WHO is hopeful that with proper interventions and backing from the international community, they will be able to stop Ebola before it even further spreads out the nation and makes its way outside the country.
Further, the WHO is keeping tabs on around 660 individuals who might be exposed to Ebola.
“Our primary focus now is to support the government Uganda now to rapidly control and contain this outbreak, to stop it from spreading to neighboring districts and neighboring countries,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Uganda is hard-hit by Ebola
The Ebola virus was first detected in Uganda in late September after a citizen from a village started to exhibit several symptoms, and health officials tested the person positive for the virus.
The strain of the virus is called Sudan ebolavirus, and as of this moment, there are no registered or licensed vaccines or treatments for it.
WHO clarified that Ebola is not transmitted through the air. Instead, people contract the disease when they contact a person who has been infected with the disease or someone who died from it.
Ebola also spreads when a person touches a material or anything that has been contaminated with Ebola.
Further, health experts explained that Ebola would not be potent to spread until its symptoms start to appear, which typically appears in 2 to 21 days. Currently, infected individuals in the Uganda Ebola outbreak show signs of the virus for 8 to 10 days on average.
The US is monitoring the situation
Meanwhile, the United States government has notified tourists and locals who have traveled to Uganda to check with the hospital for testing and monitoring immediately.
In addition, some airports now require health screening before a person enters the country. This includes the airports in New York, Atlanta, Chicago O’Hare, Washington Dulles, and Newark.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are also collaborating with the airlines in the conduct of the tests while airlines make travel information readily available to the health organization as a precaution.
According to a federal health official, the information is also being utilized by the state and local health departments. The United States wants to make sure they leave no stone unturned, as Ebola is contagious and might present another problem in a post-Covid economy.
Fortunately, there have been no positive cases of Ebola in years. The last case of Ebola in the US was detected in 2014 after he traveled in West Africa. The Dallas native died from the disease, infecting two other healthcare professionals, although both of them have already recovered.
According to the CDC website, symptoms of Ebola include:
- Aches and pains, such as severe headache and muscle and joint pain
- Weakness and fatigue
- Sore throat
- Loss of appetite
- Gastrointestinal symptoms, including abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting
- Unexplained hemorrhaging, bleeding or bruising
- Other symptoms may include red eyes, skin rash, and hiccups (late-stage).
Photo Credit: WHO