Uganda records fall in new Ebola cases

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Uganda has seen a decline in the number of new Ebola cases, with some districts going at least two weeks without recording new infections.

The development is a major sign that the East African country is enjoying some success in its efforts to tackle its latest outbreak of deadly haemorrhagic fever more than two months after it was declared.

The outbreak was first declared on 20 September in Mubende district in central Uganda. This district and another, Kassanda, are considered epicenters for the spread of the disease. Movement in and out of them has been restricted.

“We are seeing a downward trend in the number of cases,” Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng told local television on Wednesday evening, citing the absence of new cases in the two districts for several days.

“We are also not seeing new cases in Kampala, Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area, and we are also not seeing cases in Masaka and Jinja,” two other cities, she said.

Health ministry spokesman Emmanuel Ainebyoona told Reuters that Mubende had gone at least 16 days without new cases and that Kampala, the capital, had not recorded new infections for at least two weeks.

The virus circulating in Uganda is the Sudanese strain of Ebola, for which there is no proven vaccine, unlike the more common Zairian strain, which has spread in recent outbreaks in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.

But three candidate vaccines against the Sudanese strain are slated for clinical trial in Uganda.

The country has so far recorded 141 cases and 55 deaths, according to the ministry.

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