Ebola crisis in Uganda leads to schools closing early
Sawako Utsumi and Sawako Uchida
Modern Tokyo Times
The district of Mubende in Uganda was the first known area where the latest Ebola crisis began. This Ebola variant is called the Ebola Sudan strain. However, after being first detected in the Mubende district, the Ebola virus is now spreading to other parts of Uganda.
Janet Kataha Museveni, the Education Minister of Uganda, confirmed that the government will close down preschools, primary schools, and secondary schools because of growing Ebola infections.
She said, “Closing schools earlier will reduce areas of concentration where children are in daily close contact with fellow children, teachers, and other staff who could potentially spread the virus.”
The latest figure specifies 53 deaths from 135 known cases of Ebola. However, a time lag might exist because the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed 64 deaths. Of these deaths, eight are children.
Voice of America reports, “According to the Ministry of Education, Ebola cases were found at five schools in the Kampala, Wakiso and Mubende districts.”
The World Health Organization said, “Uganda has experience in responding to outbreaks of Zaire ebolavirus and Sudan ebolavirus and necessary action has been initiated quickly. The current outbreak is the first outbreak of Sudan ebolavirus in Uganda since 2012. In the absence of licensed vaccines and therapeutics for prevention and treatment of Sudan virus disease, the risk of potential serious public health impact is high.”
The BBC says, “Ebola spreads between humans by direct contact with bodily fluids and contaminated items or environments. Funerals can be a particular risk if mourners have direct contact with the body.“
Between 2013-2016, over 11,000 people died from Ebola in West Africa from the Zaire strain. Therefore, the government of Uganda urges utmost caution – and is seeking to protect children.
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