Ebola virus disease crosses the border into Uganda

The first confirmed case of Ebola virus disease (EVD) has been reported in a child identified in Kasese, Uganda. The child, who died has a history of travelling to The Democratic Republic of the Congo where an EVD outbreak has been ongoing sine 2018, developing into the second biggest on record.

Kasese where the ill child was identified, across the border from Butembo. Bwera is highlighted and is where the treatment unit is located.

The 5-year old male and family members are receiving care at the Bwera Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) after crossing the border while symptomatic, and later seeking help at the Kagando hospital between Kasese and Bwera.[1,2]

The child travelled with his family from the DRC on Sunday (09JUN2019).[3] In total, 14 people were travelling from Mabalako into Uganda after visiting the boy’s grandfather (mum’s side). The grandfather died of EVD in June 1 and the family had travelled to the burial.[4,7,8]

Twelve of the group were showing some symptoms before crossing into Uganda at Kasindi.[4] After being directed to an isolation centre, 6 members including the boy and his mum, fled across the border to Uganda to head home to Kasese.[7] Later they presented to the Kagando hospital.[4] The family members are being monitored.[4]

A rapid response team was dispatched to Kasese to look for other ill contacts and ring vaccination is to begin.[4]

The Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) confirmed the diagnosis on Tuesday morning (11JUN2019).[2,7] Two family members became symptomatic and were then confirmed 12JUN2019.[6,7,8] The child died 12JUN2019.[8]

“The young patient – 5- year-old index case of #Ebola died last night. Two more samples were sent to UVRI and have tested positive. We, therefore, have three confirmed cases of #Ebola in #Uganda“- @JaneRuth_Aceng https://t.co/oypAqpNZEW— WHO Uganda (@WHOUganda) June 12, 2019

The World Health Organization will convene an emergency committee meting to review this latest development and consider whether it constitutes reason enough for international concern.[4]

We saw in West Africa that single EVD cases could easily spin out of an outbreak at any stage of its progress. And they could be contained.

Thankfully Uganda has had time & help to prepare its people and its response, for this unwelcome viral visitor. The Ugandan government has vaccinated nearly 4,700 health workers in 165 health facilities.[5]


  1. Uganda on full alert after Ebola case confirmed
  2. DR Congo Ebola outbreak: Child in Uganda diagnosed with virus
  3. Confirmation of case of ebola virus disease in Uganda
  4. Uganda confirms first Ebola case outside outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo
  5. First Ebola Case Reported in Uganda, in Spillover From Congo
  6. https://apnews.com/urn:publicid:ap.org:9abc2661abf94cf989b50370dfe6151d?utm_medium=AP_Africa&utm_source=Twitter&utm_campaign=SocialFlow
  7. Ministry of Health: Press Statement on Ebola Outbreak in Kasese District
  8. Ebola Virus Disease Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda: External Situation Report 45 / 2018

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