News24

Toll in Uganda's Ebola outbreak hits 16

2012-08-03 14:03

Geneva - The latest outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus has killed 16 people in Uganda, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday, increasing the previous toll by one.

"Today we have 50 suspected cases and 16 dead," WHO spokesperson Tarek Jasarevic told reporters in Geneva.

For the time being the epidemic was restricted to the west of the country, Jasarevic said, adding that a single case reported in Kampala in the south of the country was the result of an infected person being brought to the capital.

Ebola broke out in early July in Uganda's western Kibale district, some 200km from Kampala, and about 50km from the border with Democratic Republic of Congo.

The virus causes internal and external bleeding and spreads by direct contact with the blood or other body fluids of infected persons, according to the World Health Organisation.

The rare haemorrhagic disease, named after a small river in DRC, killed 37 people in western Uganda in 2007 and at least 170 in the north of the country in 2000.

Neighbouring nations - including Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan and Tanzania - have warned people to report to health centres in case of Ebola-like symptoms.