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Uganda Ebola Deaths Climb to 9

FILE -Doctors walk inside the Ebola isolation section of Mubende Regional Referral Hospital, in Mubende, Uganda, Sept. 29, 2022.

The death toll of an Ebola outbreak in Uganda has grown to nine, according to the health ministry, two weeks after officials declared an epidemic in the eastern African nation.

The Ugandan health ministry tweeted on Monday that the total number of Ebola cases identified in the country stood at 43, with nearly 900 contact cases identified.

President Yoweri Museveni last week ruled out imposing a lockdown to contain the virus, saying that the "government has capacity to control this outbreak as we have done before."

Last month, the health ministry announced the landlocked nation's first fatality from the highly contagious virus since 2019, declaring an outbreak in the central district of Mubende.

Ebola is an often-fatal viral hemorrhagic fever named after a river in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where it was discovered in 1976.

People who are infected do not become contagious until symptoms appear, which is after an incubation period of between two and 21 days.

Human transmission is through bodily fluids, with the main symptoms being fever, vomiting, bleeding and diarrhea.

Outbreaks are difficult to contain, especially in urban environments.

Last week, neighboring DRC declared an end to an Ebola virus outbreak that emerged in eastern North Kivu province six weeks ago.

At present, there is no licensed medication to prevent or treat Ebola, although a range of experimental drugs are in development.

The worst epidemic in West Africa between 2013 and 2016 killed more than 11,300 alone. The DRC has had more than a dozen epidemics, the deadliest killing 2,280 people in 2020.