Johnson & Johnson vaccine may be effective but is yet to be tested against Ebola Sudan, says WHO
The number of confirmed and suspected Ebola deaths in Uganda stands at 8 on Thursday, according to the Health Ministry which declared an outbreak of the Sudan variant in the country earlier this week.
“We have isolated 11 suspected cases and listed at least 43 contacts and reactivating district taskforces of 10 districts we suspect to be at risk,” a spokesman told Anadolu Agency.
This is the first time in more than a decade that Uganda has recorded the Ebola Sudan strain. The East African country last reported an outbreak of the Ebola Sudan strain in 2012 when 17 people were killed in 24 cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which contributed to containing the virus at the time.
Unlike Ebola Zaire, there is no vaccine for the Sudan strain.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said a Johnson and Johnson vaccine that may be effective has yet to be specifically tested against the Sudan strain.
Five members of one family died at separate intervals two weeks ago with Ebola-like symptoms. But because no autopsy was conducted to establish the causes of the deaths, officials in worry that the disease is likely widely transmitted.
The WHO and partners are supporting the National Rapid Response team to investigate and respond to the outbreak.
“We are working closely with the national health authorities to investigate the source of this outbreak while supporting the efforts to quickly roll out effective control measures,” said WHO Regional Director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti.