The latest outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus has killed 16 people in Uganda, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, increasing the previous toll by one.
“Today we have 50 suspected cases and 16 dead,” WHO spokesman Tarek Jasarevic told reporters in Geneva.
For the time being the epidemic was restricted to the west of the country, Jasarevic said, adding that a single case reported in Kampala in the south of the country was the result of an infected person being brought to the capital.
Ebola broke out in early July in Uganda’s western Kibale district, some 200 kilometres (120 miles) from Kampala, and around 50 kilometres from the border with Democratic Republic of Congo.
The virus causes internal and external bleeding and spreads by direct contact with the blood or other body fluids of infected persons, according to the World Health Organization.
The rare haemorrhagic disease, named after a small river in DR Congo, killed 37 people in western Uganda in 2007 and at least 170 in the north of the country in 2000.
Neighbouring nations — including Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan and Tanzania — have warned people to report to health centres in case of Ebola-like symptoms.