Uganda confirms first Ebola case outside DRC outbreak

Measles is a highly contagious but preventable airborne infection

In a hastily organized press conference at 9 pm on Tuesday, minister of Health Jane Ruth Aceng said the confirmed case is of 5-year-old boy who'd travelled with his mother to Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to nurse her father who succumbed to Ebola.

They were directed to an isolation center, but then six members of the family fled the facility, crossing into Uganda, said the Congolese Health Ministry, which alerted Ugandan authorities of the family's movements. Congo has been experiencing an outbreak since last summer.

According to Aceng, the family sought for medical care for the boy at Kagando hospital where health workers identified Ebola as a possible cause of illness after he presented symptoms of vomiting blood, bloody diarrhea, muscle pain, headache, fatigue and abdominal pain. "The child is under care and receiving supportive treatment at Bwera ETU (Ebola treatment unit), and contacts are being monitored", the WHO Uganda office said in a tweet.

Results of these tests will be known tomorrow, said Uganda's ministry of health.

The WHO and ministry of health in a statement noted that they jointly dispatched rapid response teams to the area in a bid to ensure the virus is contained.

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It was not immediately clear how the family members were able to cross the border, where millions have travellers have been screened for Ebola since the outbreak began. As of June 9, the World Health Organization reports 2,062 cases (1,968 confirmed and 94 probable), including 1,390 deaths (1,296 confirmed and 94 probable) in the outbreak.

The disease is spread mainly through contact with the bodily fluids of those infected.

Uganda has vaccinated almost 4,700 health workers, WHO said.

"The spread of Ebola across the worldwide border is a clear signal that the global community must reset and redouble its efforts" in fighting the disease, the worldwide Rescue Committee said in a statement calling itself "extremely alarmed".

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