Uganda's Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) on Saturday confirmed that the deadly Ebola hemorrhagic fever had broken out in the East African country, killing 14 people.
A statement from the ministry of health said that laboratory investigations done at the Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe confirmed that the "Strange Disease" reported in Kibaale district in Midwestern Uganda as Ebola.
"Since July 2012, a total of 20 cases with 14 deaths have been recorded. The index case belonged to a family in Nyanswiga village in Nyamarunda Sub‐county in Kibaale district. Three samples taken from the dead have confirmed Ebola to be present in their biological specimen," the statement said.
The statement said that a national task force on Ebola coordinated by the ministry of health has been reactivated and a team of experts from the ministry, WHO and Center for Disease Control are already in the area.
Ebola virus is highly contagious and causes a range of symptoms including fever, vomiting, diarrhea, generalized pain or malaise and in many cases internal and external bleeding.
Mortality rates of Ebola fever are extremely high, with the human case-fatality rate ranging from 50 percent to 89 percent, depending on viral subtype.
The last outbreak in Uganda was in 2011 and in late 2007 the outbreak in the western district of Bundibugyo claimed 37 lives out of the 148 infected.