Kampala — Uganda said Monday it expected to declare an end to onewhich appeared late last year and has killed at least 56 people. If no new case is reported by Tuesday, the health ministry said it will formally announce the end of the outbreak on Wednesday.
According to the World Health Organization, an outbreak of the disease ends when there are no new cases for 42 consecutive days – twice the incubation period of Ebola.
Health ministry spokesman Emmanuel Ainebyoona said in an invitation to journalists that the “declaration ceremony” will take place in the central district of Mubende, the epicenter of the outbreak.
Since Ugandan authorities declared the latest outbreak in Mubende on September 20, the East African nation has recorded 142 confirmed cases and 56 deaths, withKampala.
The last confirmed patient was discharged from the hospital on November 30, according to health authorities.
The outbreak is caused by the Sudanese strain of the virus, for which there is currently no vaccine.
But three candidate vaccines – one developed by Oxford University and the Jenner Institute in the UK, another from the Sabin Vaccine Institute in the US, and a third from the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) – are being tested in Uganda.
Ebola is an often fatal viral hemorrhagic fever. The disease is named after a river in the Democratic Republic of Congo where it was discovered in 1976.
Human transmission occurs through body fluids, with the main symptoms being fever, vomiting, bleeding and diarrhoea.
Outbreaks are difficult to contain, especially in urban environments. People who are infected do not become contagious until symptoms appear, which is after an incubation period of between two and 21 days.
Uganda, which shares a porous border with the DRC, has experienced several Ebola outbreaks, most recently in 2019 when at least five people died.
The worst epidemic in West Africa between 2013 and 2016 killed more than 11,300 people alone. The DRC has had more than a dozen epidemics, the deadliest of which killed 2,280 people in 2020.