CDC Announces First Care of Ebola Virus Disease in Uganda Associated with Outbreak in DRC

PUBLISHED: Jun 13, 2019
Relevant to: All Healthcare Organizations

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was notified on June 11, 2019 of a case of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) diagnosed in Uganda and confirmed by laboratory testing. This is the first time that a case associated with the current outbreak, which began in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in August 2018, has been identified in a neighboring country.

This is the first case of Ebola in Uganda since 2013, and the first time that Uganda has reported a case of Zaire ebolavirus. Based on available information, CDC believes that the patient was infected with Ebola virus in DRC and crossed the border into Uganda. The patient became ill on June 9 in DRC and was brought to Uganda for treatment on June 10.

According the CDC, even one case of Ebola diagnosed outside the current outbreak zone in northeastern DRC is a matter of concern. Knowing that the potential for regional spread is high, medical and public health professionals have been preparing to respond. In addition to having staff assisting the Ministry of Health and other partners in DRC, CDC is working with multiple agencies in Uganda to help coordinate preparedness and response measures, including preparation for vaccination activities. With the support of the United States, Uganda has vaccinated more than 2,000 of its healthcare workers against the Ebola virus since the start of the DRC outbreak.

The current Ebola outbreak in DRC was declared on August 1, 2018. As of June 10, 2019 a total of 2,071 Ebola cases and 1,390 deaths in DRC, and now one case in Uganda, have been reported as part of the outbreak.

The CDC states that, currently, the risk of EVD transmission in the United States remains very low. There are, however, still steps U.S. healthcare providers should take:

While the threat of Ebola is not high in the United States, providers are reminded that in 2014, two nurses were infected while treating patients infected with EVD in U.S. health care facilities. The proper and effective use of Personal Protective Equipment is fundamental for all staff with potential exposure to infectious diseases or bloodborne pathogens. Health care organizations may want to consult HHS’s Hospital Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Planning Tool that is intended to help hospitals determine approximate minimum PPE needs based on special pathogen categories and other facility-specific variables. The PPE Planning tool intended as a pre-incident planning tool and not during an outbreak; this is an ideal time to review EVD outbreak response plan.

Included with today’s notice are example policies PPE and EVD evaluation.

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