9-year-old girl tests positive for Ebola in Uganda

The child, who is of Congolese origin, was diagnosed after exhibiting symptoms at a border crossing
9-year-old girl tests positive for Ebola in Uganda

A nine-year-old girl who had travelled from the Democratic Republic of Congo has been found to have Ebola, authorities in Uganda said on Thursday.

The child, who is of Congolese origin, was diagnosed after exhibiting symptoms at a border crossing in the southwestern Kasese district on Wednesday. She was subsequently isolated and transferred to an Ebola treatment unit.

A rapid response team had been dispatched to Kasese to support local teams, the Ugandan Health Ministry said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Uganda said it had started a trial of an experimental Ebola vaccine that may be used in neighbouring DR Congo where an outbreak of the disease has killed more than 1,900 people.

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The trial of the MVA-BN vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson is expected to last two years.

At present, there is no licenced drug to prevent or treat Ebola although a range of experimental drugs is in development.

Uganda has suffered Ebola outbreaks in the past but nothing on the scale of the DR Congo epidemic, which began in August 2018. 

It is the second-worst outbreak on record, eclipsed only by the 2013-2016 epidemic in West Africa, which killed more than 11,300 out of 29,000 documented cases.

Uganda has been declared Ebola-free but in June three people from one family died there from the haemorrhagic fever after crossing back from DR Congo.

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