The Ebola outbreak that started late last year and has taken at least 56 people’s lives is expected to end. The health ministry stated it would formally declare the outbreak’s end on Wednesday if no new cases are reported by Tuesday.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that the outbreak ends when there are no new cases for 42 days straight, which is twice as long as Ebola’s incubation period.
The end of the pandemic will be announced at the declaration ceremony in the central Mubende area, the epicenter of the outbreak.
According to the health ministry, the last known patient of the outbreak was released from the hospital on November 30.
The East African nation of Uganda has recorded 142 confirmed cases and 56 deaths since the country’s authorities declared the most recent outbreak in Mubende on September 20. The outbreak later extended into various other regions of the nation.
As of November last year, there were confirmed cases in many regions of Uganda, such as Kampala, Wakiso, Kagadi, Mubende, Bunyanga, Kassanda, and Kyegegwa.
The disease Ebola is caused by the Sudan Ebola virus, and there is currently no vaccine. However, Uganda is currently testing three candidate vaccines: one from the Sabin Vaccine Institute in the US, one from the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), and one from Oxford University and the Jenner Institute in Britain.
Viral hemorrhagic fever Ebola frequently results in death. The disease was first identified in 1976, and it is named after a river in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The most common symptoms of human transmission by bodily fluids are fever, vomiting, bleeding, and diarrhoea. Infected individuals do not become contagious until symptoms start to appear, which can take anywhere between two and 21 days.
It is the fifth time that Uganda faced an Ebola outbreak. Uganda has already had four outbreaks of Sudan Ebolavirus before 2022, including one in 2000, 2011, and 2012, two outbreaks in 2013, an outbreak of the Bundibugyo virus in 2007, and an outbreak of the Ebola virus in 2019.
Now let’s have a look at the timeline of the 2022 Ebola Outbreak.
The outbreak of the Ebola virus was declared by the ministry of health in Uganda in September 2022.
A 24-year-old man in a village in the Mubende district first showed signs of Ebola on September 11, 2022. He passed away on September 19, 2022. This was the initially reported case of the outbreak in 2022. After the death of this young man, Ugandan health officials declared the outbreak of the epidemic on September 20, 2022.
In Kassanda and Kyegegwa, cases had been confirmed by September 25. The first case in the Kagadi District was confirmed on September 29. There were 38 confirmed cases and eight deaths as of September 30, 2022.
One of the six healthcare professionals who treated the initial case passed away on October 1st, 2022.
In October, Bunyanga district confirmed its first case. The first confirmed case and death in the Kampala district happened on October 12, 2022. With 14 confirmed cases recorded in Kampala in the previous 48 hours, there were 90 confirmed cases and 28 deaths on October 24, 2022.
On October 26, 2022, the Ugandan Ministry of Health reported six cases among school-age children enrolled in three different schools in the Rubaga division of Kampala. One of the children died from the illness and 170 contacts were found among the cases.
Since there were 23 confirmed cases among the students in Uganda, the education minister Janet Kataha Museveni declared that all schools will be closing on November 25, two weeks before the regular end of the academic year.
On November 2, the Masaka District announced its first case and death. Jinja District announced its first case and death on November 13. According to the ministry of health, as of December last year, there were 142 confirmed cases and 56 deaths.
Politicians and other public figures who opposed President Yoweri Museveni’s 36-year rule have claimed that the Ebola outbreak is fake or overblown. They argued that Ugandans are being exploited as lab rats for vaccine testing to benefit the ruling party.
Other widely accepted hypotheses about Ebola have included its connection to witchcraft. Some people believe that the outbreak is a result of certain witchcraft and that the graves of victims are sealed off so that their organs can be removed and sold.
At a time when the economy was still having trouble recovering from the effects of the nationwide COVID-19 lockdowns and continuing pressures from global inflation, Ugandans also expressed their concerns about the severe lockdowns.
Contact with bodily fluids is the main way that Ebola spreads. The average fatality rate of Ebola is 50%. The case fatality rate for the 2022 Ebola outbreak in Uganda is 39%. This shows that the authorities have succeeded to prevent the fatality rate to a great extent.