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Uganda tests first suspected Ebola case in East Africa

ABU DHABI, 8th August 2014 (WAM) — News reports on Friday said a suspected case of Ebola had been detected in Uganda, the first such report from East Africa.

A traveler from South Sudan had been isolated with Ebola-like symptoms of fever and physicians were awaiting the results of tests, officials of Uganda’s Heath Ministry were quoted by Uganda’s newspaper Daily Monitor as saying.

The patient had reportedly been working with the International Organisation for Migrants in neighbouring South Sudan where no cases of the Ebola virus have been reported, according to the paper. He was referred to Kampala for treatment after he exhibited symptoms of Hepatitis B disease.

The Ebola suspect was identified during a screening exercise on Wednesday at Entebbe Airport where he had arrived aboard an Ethiopian Airlines flight, Director-General of Health Services at the ministry, Dr Jane Aceng, told the paper.

Uganda’s last known outbreak of Ebola was in 2012, the paper said.

On Friday, the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) declared the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to be an international public health emergency demanding an "extraordinary" response.

The Geneva-based health body said all states where the disease had been transmitted should declare national emergencies, as some of the stricken countries already have done to face the worst known outbreak since Ebola was identified almost four decades ago.

According to figures released by the W.H.O. this week, the worst Ebola outbreak on record has killed 932 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since it was first reported in March, the total number of cases, including these fatalities, stood at 1,711.

Most of the Ebola cases are in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Five cases have also been reported in Nigeria, where one person has died after traveling from Liberia.

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