Uganda’s most deadly Ebola outbreak in 20 years is finally ‘over’, the World Health Organisation has declared.
At least 55 people, including six health workers, have died since the outbreak was announced in September.
The virus spread to nine districts, including the capital, Kampala, raising fears of its snowballing across the East African region.
But WHO confirmed the end of the nearly four-month outbreak no new cases had been registered in the country in the past 42 days.
Minister of health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng Ocero, said: ‘Uganda put a swift end to the Ebola outbreak by ramping up key control measures such as surveillance, contact tracing and infection, prevention and control.
‘While we expanded our efforts to put a strong response in place across the nine affected districts, the magic bullet has been our communities who understood the importance of doing what was needed to end the outbreak, and took action.’
This outbreak was the first in a decade of the less common Sudan strain of Ebola.
Unlike the Zaire strain that has caused outbreaks in neighboring Congo in recent years, this has no proven vaccine or therapeutics.
Ebola, which can manifest as a hemorrhagic fever, spreads through contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person or contaminated materials.
In total there were 164 cases, 55 confirmed deaths and 87 recovered patients.
More than 4,000 people who came in contact with confirmed cases were followed up and their health monitored for 21 days.
WHO Africa director Matshidiso Moeti said: ‘With no vaccines and therapeutics, this was one of the most challenging Ebola outbreaks in the past five years.
‘Two months ago, it looked as if Ebola would cast a dark shadow over the country well into 2023 as the outbreak reached major cities such as Kampala and Jinja.
‘But this win starts off the year on a note of great hope for Africa.’
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