Ebola in Uganda: 29 dead, worries of WHO in face of ineffectiveness of vaccines

A strain of the “relatively rare” virus, known as a Sudanese, had not been reported in the country since 2012.

Le Monde with AFP

The Ebola epidemic in Uganda left 29 dead, including four health workers, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday, worried about the ineffectiveness of vaccines facing the so -called strain “Sudanese” of the virus.

“The vaccines used successfully to stop the recent Ebola epidemics in the DRC are not effective against the type of Ebola virus responsible for this epidemic” in Uganda, declared the general manager of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a press conference. “However, several vaccines are at different stages of development against this virus, two of which could start clinical trials in Uganda in the coming weeks, pending regulatory and ethical authorizations from the Ugandan government,” he said.

Soumya Swaminathan, WHO chief scientist, explained that there are about six candidate vaccines against the Sudanese Ebola virus strain, “mostly at very early stages of development”. “But three of them have been the subject of data on humans, on immunogenicity and data security, and can therefore be used in the field as part of a ring vaccination campaign, as This was done for Ebola’s epidemic in the DRC a few years ago, “she said.

On September 20, the Ugandan Health Ministry announced the presence of an “epidemic” of Ebola virus in Uganda, after the death of a 24 -year -old young man. According to WHO Africa, this case comes from a “relatively rare” strain called Sudanese, which had not been reported in Uganda since 2012. According to the WHO Regional Office, although there is no treatment Specific against this strain, the identification of cases and the early treatment of symptoms considerably increase the chances of survival. 2> more than $ 2 million unlocked

Until now, 63 confirmed and probable cases have been identified, including 29 deaths, said Doctor Tedros. 10 health workers were infected and 4 died. “When there is a delay in the detection of an Ebola epidemic, it is normal for cases to increase regularly at first, then decrease as interventions aimed at saving lives and control measures of the epidemic is implemented, “said the WHO chief.

Jane Ruth Aceng Ocero, Ugandan Health Minister, announced on Twitter the death, early Wednesday, of a 58 -year -old anesthesiologist. Uganda has already experienced Ebola epidemics, a disease discovered in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of neighboring Congo. In 2000, 200 people had died in Uganda during an epidemic in the north of the country.

Part of the south of Guinea in December 2013, the most violent epidemic in the history of Ebola struck West Africa until 2016, costing more than 11,300 people. The DRC has known more than a dozen epidemic outbreaks since 1976, but they have been caused by the “Zaire” strain against which vaccines are effective. This hemorrhagic fever is transmitted to humans by infected animals. Human transmission is made by bodily liquids, with the main symptoms of fevers, vomiting, bleeding, diarrhea.

Doctor Tedros said that WHO had released $ 2 million from its reserve fund for emergency situations to help fight the epidemic in Uganda. The organization works with its partners to strengthen the health response by sending specialists and medical supplies.

President Yoweri Museveni excluded any confinement last week, saying that the country had the capacity to contain the epidemic. The first cases were identified in the district of Mubende, in the center of the country, before expanding in the neighboring districts of Kassanda, Kyegegwa and Kagadi. Mubende is located about two hours away from the capital Kampala and is located along a very popular road leading to the DRC. According to WHO Africa, there are gold mines in the region, which attracts people from different parts of Uganda, as well as other countries.

/Media reports.