Uganda confirms another Ebola case

FILE PHOTO: Ugandan health workers speak to civilians before carrying out the first vaccination exercise against the ebola virus in Kirembo village, near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo in Kasese district, Uganda June 16, 2019. REUTERS/James Akena -/File Photo

KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda reported another case of Ebola on Thursday, a nine-year-old girl who had crossed the border from neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, where the haemorrhagic disease has killed at least 1,800 in a year-long outbreak.

The health ministry said the girl, of Congolese origin, was identified by a screening team at Mpondwe border post as she tried to cross to Uganda with her mother on Aug. 28.

The girl exhibited symptoms including high fever, body weakness, rash and unexplained mouth bleeding, according to the statement.

A sample of her blood tested positive for Ebola, the ministry said. “Since the child was identified at the Point of Entry, there are no contacts in Uganda,” it said.

The new case is likely to heighten fears of the outbreak spilling over from Congo into neighbouring countries.

In June, two people who had travelled from Congo died in Uganda while a third who was part of the same visiting family died after he was sent back home.

Uganda has previously suffered multiple outbreaks of Ebola but fatalities have been kept low in part because of quick diagnoses and a rapid response mechanism.

In the statement the ministry said a rapid response team had been dispatched to Kasese district, some 470 km (290 miles) from the capital Kampala, to help with “case management, community engagement, contact tracing, psychological support and vaccination.”

Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; Editing by Omar Mohammed and John Stonestreet