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Ebola infections grow in Uganda as death toll rises to 23

<i>Hajarah Nalwadda/AP</i><br/>Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health Diana Atwine (center) confirms a case of Ebola in the country at a press conference in Kampala
AP
Hajarah Nalwadda/AP
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health Diana Atwine (center) confirms a case of Ebola in the country at a press conference in Kampala

By Nimi Princewill, CNN

Ebola infections have risen across districts in Uganda, bringing the cumulative number of confirmed and suspected deaths to 23, health authorities in the east African country said Monday.

Uganda declared an Ebola outbreak last Tuesday after a case of the relatively rare Sudan strain was detected in the country’s Mubende district.

The virus has now spread to neighboring Kyegegwa and Kassanda districts, with the Ugandan Health Ministry reporting that cumulative cases had risen to 36, including confirmed and probable cases. No cases have been detected in the capital city Kampala.

The Ugandan Health Ministry considers a “probable case” as any person who died from suspected EVD (ebola) and had an epidemiological link to a confirmed case but was not tested and did not have lab confirmation.

The ministry considers “confirmed cases” as those with positive lab results. Of the number of infections identified so far, 18 of the cases have been confirmed to be infected while another 18 were suspected of having the virus.

The ministry also stated that five of the deceased patients were confirmed to have died of the virus while 18 were listed as probable deaths. Around 35 patients are currently being admitted, it added.

Uganda has experienced four Ebola outbreaks. The deadliest left more than 200 people dead in 2000.

According to the World Health Organization, vaccination against the rare Sudan strain hasn’t been tested for efficacy. However, the Ervebo (rVSV-ZEBOV) vaccine has been found to be effective in protecting against the Zaire variant of the Ebola virus.

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