The 2022 Uganda Ebola outbreak: Due to its numerous distinctive attractions, including Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, which offers the greatest gorilla trekking safari, Uganda is one of the countries in Africa that attracts a lot of people. However, because of the Ebola virus outbreak, some people are afraid to enter the country right now. On September 20, 2022, the health officials in Uganda declared an Ebola epidemic. Since then, 43 total confirmed cases and 9 fatalities have been reported across the nation.

Ebola epidemics are nothing new to Uganda; there have been several in the past. Apart from this of 2022, The most recent Ebola outbreak to affect the “Pearl of Africa” was in 2014, when there were only about 100 cases and 53 fatalities reported. Since the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is next door and has seen multiple Ebola epidemics and is currently coping with one, it has been the source of many of these outbreaks. However, these spillovers into Uganda were largely controlled, preventing an actual Ebola outbreak there. The Ugandan medical personnel are completely prepared to manage this “outbreak” with contact tracing, isolation of victims, and safe burial of the dead in order to prevent the spread of infection.

The Ebola virus strain responsible for this outbreak in Uganda is the Sudan ebolavirus. This type is less transmissible than the Zaire Ebolavirus, which produced a recent outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s eastern region (Kivu). The Ebola virus is spread through contact with the fluids of an infected person;

  • Blood or bodily fluids (including urine, saliva, perspiration, feces, vomit, breast milk, amniotic fluid, and semen) from an individual who has the Ebola virus disease or has passed away from it.
  • Objects that have been contaminated with bodily fluids from a person who has Ebola Virus Disease or has died from it, including clothing, bedding, needles, and medical equipment
  • Fruit bats or non-human primates with the disease (such as apes and monkeys)
  • Sperm from a man who overcame Ebola Virus Disease (through oral, vaginal, or anal sex). Even if an EVD patient no longer exhibits severe disease symptoms, the virus might persist in some body fluids (including semen) of the patient. There is no proof that intercourse or other interactions with a woman who has had Ebola can transfer the disease.

 How is Uganda handling the Ebola outbreak?

The emphasis on finding people who were close to patients, especially those who attended community funerals, has been implemented as part of attempts to control the Ebola virus in Uganda. Additionally, a 51-bed treatment facility is operational in the Mubende district, which is the outbreak’s epicenter. Two mobile laboratories would be delivered to Mubende, President Museveni declared, eliminating the need for people to go for testing and the chance of the virus spreading.

The 2022 Uganda Ebola outbreak
The 2022 Uganda Ebola outbreak

The afflicted area has to be quarantined, according to medical personnel. On the other hand, President Museveni has ruled out such restrictions, claiming that since Ebola is not an airborne illness, it “is not distributed like Corona [virus].” He assured everyone that businesses, educational institutions, and houses of worship would remain open but urged them to maintain excellent hygiene and avoid close contact.

 Nevertheless, in response to the epidemic, the nation moved swiftly at the national and local levels to support all response pillars. The nation activated the incident management system and the National Multi-Stakeholder Task Force (NTF), which is co-chaired by the WHO and led by the Ministry of Health.

Additionally, Uganda has trained and deployed Rapid Response Teams (RRTs), Village Health Teams (VHTs), and activated District Task Forces (DTFs) in ten high-risk districts. Additionally, Uganda has given the Mubende Regional Referral Hospital equipment for infection prevention and control, including three Ebola kits with enough supplies to treat over 300 Ebola patients, The 2022 Uganda Ebola outbreak

Why is it still safe to visit Uganda?

 Despite having a far greater mortality rate than the COVID-19 illness, the Ebola virus is thankfully not airborne, making it easier to handle. The peak travel season, which runs from June to September and is when the majority of tourists visit Uganda, has recently ended. The majority of safaris in Uganda include activities like going on a gorilla trekking through Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, going on a wildlife safari via Murchison Falls National Park, or going on a chimpanzee trek through Kibale Forest National Park. Given that an Ebola outbreak has been reported, many people who are currently planning trips to Uganda might be wondering if it is safe to travel there.

This is why it is safe to travel to Uganda. A national health response has been put in place to stop future virus spread after the hotspots for the disease were discovered. Additionally, these regions are not included in the places you will travel for your Uganda safari.

Despite the fact that Ebola has a high mortality rate, it is thankfully only spread through direct contact, making the mere notion of it less terrifying. You don’t come into close contact with anyone while on your safari tour; thus, there won’t be any transmission. Additionally, those who don’t have any symptoms cannot spread it. Additionally, you are unable to contact someone who is experiencing symptoms since, by the time they manifest them, and they have already been admitted to the hospital. The spread can be stopped by maintaining social distance and washing hands thoroughly with soap and water.

General Travel Advice for Visitors

Outside of the outbreak area, there is very little chance that tourists or other visitors to Uganda could contract the Ebola virus from the Mubende District outbreak. To prevent infection, take the following precautions if you’re traveling to Uganda:

  • Avoid coming into contact with sick people and their bodily fluids, corpses, and/or patient bodies and bodily fluids, as well as any wild animals, living or dead.
  • Do not handle or consume bush meat (the meat of wild or feral mammals killed for food).
  • Wash and peel all fruits and vegetables before eating.
  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and water (or sanitize with alcohol gel when soap is unavailable).

“Contact Achieve Global Safaris for any updates on the Ebola outbreak in Uganda as well as other travel-related information. Despite the disease’s spread, it is still safe to travel to the country, and so far, no cases of the sickness being contracted by foreign visitors have been reported”

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