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Uganda sees ‘downward trend’ in Ebola cases: health minister | health News

Officials say some districts have not reported any new infections for at least two weeks.

Uganda has reported a decline in the number of new Ebola cases, with some districts having gone at least two weeks without registering new infections, health ministry officials said.

The development is a major sign that the East African country has found success in its efforts to combat its latest outbreak of the deadly hemorrhagic fever, more than two months after it was declared.

Mubende District in central Uganda was where the outbreak was originally declared on 20 September. This and another district, Kasanda, are believed to be the centers of the spread of the disease. Access to these has been banned.

“We are seeing a decline in the number of cases,” Health Minister Jane Ruth Ekeng said on the local NTV news service late Wednesday, citing the absence of new cases in the two districts for several days.

“We are not seeing new cases in Kampala, even in the greater Kampala metropolitan area, nor are we seeing cases in Masaka and Jinja,” he added.

Emmanuel Ainebuena, a spokesman for the health ministry, told news agency Reuters on Thursday that Mubende had gone at least 16 days without new cases and the capital Kampala had recorded no new infections for at least two weeks.

The virus circulating in Uganda is the Sudan strain of Ebola, for which there is no proven vaccine, unlike the more common Zaire strain, which spread during a recent outbreak in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo.

But three candidate vaccines against the Sudan strain are planned for clinical trials in Uganda.

The World Health Organization and aid groups are also providing assistance to Uganda to combat the outbreak.

According to the Health Ministry, the country has so far recorded 141 cases and 55 deaths.

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