Ebola virus disease reported in Uganda

18 June 2019

Article: 53/2401

On 11 June 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed a case of Ebola virus disease in a family group in Kasese, Uganda. The case concerns a five-year old boy, travelling with his family, who died shortly afterwards. A further two cases of Ebola were detected in that family group shortly afterwards, one of whom also subsequently died. The family were identified at the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)-Uganda border as they returned from caring for a relative in neighbouring North Kivu, DRC. The remaining case and family contacts are currently being cared for in the DRC.

There are no cases of Ebola currently in Uganda, although a number of contacts are being vaccinated.

At a meeting of the Emergency Committee, convened by WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on 14 June 2019, it was noted that the cluster of cases in Uganda was not unexpected, but that this incident was a reminder of the risk of spread to neighbouring countries. The committee concluded, however, that while the outbreak is a health emergency in DRC and the region, it does not meet the criteria for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

For further information on Ebola virus disease, consult TRAVAX (for health professionals) and fitfortravel (for the general public).

Sources: WHO Africa, 11 June 2019, WHO Emergency Committee, 14 June 2019, TRAVAX and fitfortravel (both 12 June 2019)