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Health Ministry stops surveillance of all Ebola contacts

FILE PHOTO: Ebola preparedness

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Ministry of Health has declared Kasese district Ebola free and stopped following up on Ebola contacts there. No new Ebola case has been registered in the district since last month’s outbreak.

Three people who had traveled to DRC to bury a relative entered Uganda on June 10th, 2019 and were confirmed to have contracted Ebola on June 11th, 2019. The trio passed away and is believed to have come into contact with 100 people.

The ministry’s announcement comes after the elapse of 21 days of surveilling all contacts in their homes. The contacts are believed to have come into contact with the three confirmed Ebola cases or people who got into contact with them. In her statement, Health Minister, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, says there are no more Ebola cases in the country. She attributes the development to the quick response to the deadly disease.

“All people who came into contact with the confirmed EVD cases have completed the mandatory 21 days of follow up without developing any signs and symptoms of the disease. Currently, there are no new people under follow up,” she said.

According to doctors, Ebola takes 21 days for symptoms to manifest themselves. With no symptoms detected in the contacts, the health ministry says the contacts are no longer being looked at as a health threat.

The Health ministry however says the country is still on high alert even with no new cases being reported. “Given the escalating number of confirmed cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda remains on high alert. All travellers are advised to observe all EVD prevention measures,” she said.

A total of 2,056 people are believed to have been infected with Ebola in DRC as of June 9, 2019. This is more than double the number of cases registered since November 2018 involving 890 people. So far, 1384 people have died of the disease while 564 have recovered.

According to the Health ministry, Uganda is going to continue with its Ebola preparedness measures. Screening is taking place at specific entry points including Entebbe International.

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