Ebola outbreak enters ‘truly frightening phase’ as it turns deadly in Uganda

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The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo made the long-feared jump across borders with three cases confirmed Wednesday in Uganda, including the death of a 5-year-old boy who had the virus.

The World Health Organization and Ugandan health authorities said Tuesday that the Congolese boy had traveled from Congo on Sunday and entered Uganda with his family and sought medical care. The other two confirmed cases are the boy’s 3-year-old brother and his grandmother, 50. They are being treated under isolation at the Bwera Hospital Ebola Treatment Unit, in the west of Uganda, the country’s Ministry of Health said

In a tweet Wednesday, WHO said the boy had died Tuesday night. “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,” the tweet said, referring to the Uganda Virus Research Institute. The ministry added that eight people who had been in contact with the family were being traced.

The Congo outbreak is both the second largest and second deadliest Ebola outbreak in history. More than 1,300 people have died since it began in August. The epicenter is in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, among the most populous in the Congo and bordering Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan. Concern had been mounting that the infectious disease would cross the border, underscored by an increase in the number of cases in recent weeks.

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