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Uganda declares end of Ebola outbreak — three months after first case

Uganda has declared the end of its Ebola disease outbreak, three months after the first case was confirmed in the country.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) announced this in a statement on Wednesday.

The East African country confirmed the outbreak in September 2022 after a 24-year-old tested positive.

The outbreak was caused by the Sudan ebolavirus, one of six species of the Ebola virus for which no therapeutics and vaccines have been approved yet.

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The WHO said a total of 164 cases (142 confirmed and 22 probable) and 55 deaths were recorded during the outbreak.

“Overall, the case-fatality ratio was 47%. The last patient was released from care on 30 November when the 42-day countdown to the end of the outbreak began,” the statement reads.

“Health authorities showed strong political commitment and implemented accelerated public health actions. People in the hot-spot communities of Mubende and Kasanda experienced restricted movements.”

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Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, said it was one of the most challenging Ebola outbreaks in five years.

She added that even with no vaccines and therapeutics, Uganda stayed the course and continuously fine-tuned its response.

“Two months ago, it looked as if Ebola would cast a dark shadow over the country well into 2023, as the outbreak reached major cities such as Kampala and Jinja, but this win starts off the year on a note of great hope for Africa,” she said.

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