Uganda confirms Ebola case in country's east as outbreak expands

Uganda's health ministry is struggling to keep Ebola cases isolated.

 A person dressed in ebola protective apparel is seen inside an ebola care facility at the Bwera general hospital near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo in Bwera (photo credit: REUTERS)
A person dressed in ebola protective apparel is seen inside an ebola care facility at the Bwera general hospital near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo in Bwera
(photo credit: REUTERS)

An Ebola case has been confirmed in Jinja in eastern Uganda, the country's health minister said on Sunday, the first time the outbreak has spread to a new region of the country from central Uganda where cases have been confined so far.

Authorities have been struggling to contain the highly infectious and deadly hemorrhagic fever since the epidemic was declared on Sept. 20.

Is ebola back in Uganda for good?

Uganda has so far recorded a total of 135 confirmed cases and 53 deaths, according to the health ministry.

In a tweet, health minister Jane Ruth Aceng said the case in Jinja was of a 45-year-old man who died on Thursday. A sample that turned positive for Ebola had been obtained from the body by health workers at a private clinic where he had sought treatment.

 An Ugandan health worker shows an informational flyer on Ebola virus and how to prevent its spread to the community of Kirembo village, near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Kasese district (credit: REUTERS) An Ugandan health worker shows an informational flyer on Ebola virus and how to prevent its spread to the community of Kirembo village, near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Kasese district (credit: REUTERS)

"Contact tracing and epidemiological investigations have been activated," Aceng said.

The virus circulating in Uganda is the Sudan strain of Ebola, for which there is no proven vaccine, unlike the more common Zaire strain that spread during recent outbreaks in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ebola generally kills about half of the people it infects.