Fears after two new Ebola cases in Uganda

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The second-deadliest Ebola outbreak in history has now spread to Uganda - claiming the life of a 5-year-old boy Wednesday after the virus killed almost 1,400 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. There, a dozen family members appeared to have symptoms and were transferred to an isolation centre at the local hospital for observation.

Pressure was mounting on the World Health Organization today to declare an global emergency after the Ebola epidemic raging the Democratic Republic of Congo spread to Uganda.

"The boy has been taken into an isolation unit as have other family members for monitoring".

The latest epidemic, which has claimed 1,400 lives, is the second largest in history. It also added that top health officials are in Kasese district and rapid response teams are on the ground to assess the situation and help district officials with response steps such as contact tracing, case management, surveillance, and risk communication.

In November 2018, Uganda vaccinated its health workers against Ebola despite there being no outbreak of the disease in the country. A World Health Organization expert committee meets on Friday.

The World Health Organisation declined to declare Ebola a global health emergency back in April, largely because Ebola hadn't yet travelled across worldwide borders. It has twice stopped short of doing so, partly because the disease had not crossed borders.

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One case of the Ebola virus has been confirmed in Uganda, the World Health Organisation said on Tuesday.

Just days ago, the 5-year-old boy and his mother had traveled from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Uganda.

Uganda is more stable than eastern Congo, and for the first time an experimental but effective Ebola vaccine is being widely used, with more than 130,000 doses distributed.

Efforts to contain the disease have been hampered by ongoing violence in the region, including attacks on health workers.

Uganda has a porous border with the DRC where hundreds of people move across the two countries every day for business and other activities.

Uganda now has three confirmed Ebola cases.

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The child was buried late Wednesday in Kasese, in Uganda's west, health ministry spokeswoman Emma Ainebyoona told AFP.

There have been more than 2,000 confirmed and probable cases of the Ebola virus in Congo since August, with almost 1,400 deaths.

Dr Agoustou Gomis, Ebola virus disease project coordinator in the DRC for the charity World Vision, said the worldwide community must step up.

This is the first confirmed case in Uganda during the Ebola outbreak on-going in neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo. More than 1,300 people have died since it began in August.

The nonprofit International Rescue Committee issued a statement calling for the international community to "reset", which appears to be diplomatic speak for "pull your head out of your arse and pay attention".

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