Uganda bans public gatherings in Kasese District amid Ebola fears

A health worker screens a patient using a temperature gun

A health worker screens a patient using a temperature gun

The woman was the grandmother of a five-year-old boy who died on Tuesday evening after crossing into Uganda with his family from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been dealing with an ongoing Ebola outbreak since August 2018; during that time, more than 2,000 cases of the disease have been confirmed, the majority of which were ultimately fatal.

Two people have died so far in the latest Ebola outbreak in Uganda, the Daily Monitor reported.

Uganda's health ministry said the boy's grandmother and a 3-year-old sibling were also diagnosed with Ebola and were now in an isolation unit, adding the 5-year-old had died. Health ministry spokesman Emmanuel Ainebyoona on Thursday confirmed the woman's death.

Congo's health ministry says all members of the Congolese-Ugandan family have agreed to be repatriated to Congo for experimental treatments as part of clinical trials.

The family was quarantined in a hospital in Bwera, in Kasese district. The illness causes internal bleeding and is easily transmitted through contact with small amounts of bodily fluid.

On June 13, the World Health Organization confirmed that experts will meet on Friday, June 14, to determine whether the Ebola outbreak should be declared 'a public health emergency of global concern.' This will be the third time the emergency committee has convened to discuss the potential.

The West Africa epidemic infected 28,000 people and killed 11,300, mostly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

The World Health Organization will hold an emergency meeting Friday to determine whether to declare the outbreak "a public health emergency of worldwide concern", a major shift in the mobilisation against the disease.

The new Uganda cases have stoked fears the killer virus could now spill over into neighbouring South Sudan, which is struggling to recover from a bloody five-year civil war and whose health facilities are very basic.

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