Kinnera Mulam

An illustration of the Ebola virus. The recent Ebola outbreak from Uganda began in mid-September.

Deadly Ebola outbreak sweeps Uganda

With 44 confirmed cases and 10 deaths, the Ebola outbreak in Uganda is threatening other East African countries, especially due to the outbreak strain’s lack of treatment. The outbreak went public after a 24-year-old man in the Mubende district displayed symptoms including high fever and bleeding from the eyes as early as Sept. 11. He sought help from various clinics but died on Sept. 15, just four days after first showing symptoms, in a hospital located in the Mubende district. Ervebo, an injectable vaccine highly successful in maintaining the Zaire strain, which spread in 2018 in New Guinea, does not work on the current Sudan strain. Although no official medical treatment currently exists, there are six vaccine candidates undergoing testing to combat the virus. However, another major problem arose: the economic shutdown that might emerge from this highly contagious virus. Uganda, a country with potential threat of an outbreak, is still mending repercussions from the economic shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to increased worry about the effects of another economic shutdown. As of now, the Ugandan government has yet to issue any rulings that prohibit public gathering and is avoiding unnecessary lockdowns. In response to the outbreak, the U.S. is currently screening travelers coming from Uganda for symptoms and signs of Ebola but has yet to find any people displaying symptoms. 

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