Uganda Declares End to Ebola Outbreak

    Uganda Declares End to Ebola Outbreak
    Last updated Jan 11, 2023
    Image credit: AP [via Al Jazeera]


    • On Wednesday, Uganda declared an end to the Ebola outbreak that began in September 2022. Ugandan authorities had initially struggled to control the outbreak that infected 143 people and killed 55, but later swiftly brought the incident under control.[1]
    • The World Health Organization (WHO) also declared an end to the outbreak after it determined that there were no new confirmed or probable cases in Uganda after 42 days, which is twice the incubation period for Ebola infections.[2]
    • Ebola is a viral infection that is transmitted through bodily contact with a human or animal that is infected or has died from the virus. Uganda was impacted by the Sudan strain of the virus, which has no approved vaccines or therapeutics for treatment.[2]
    • The outbreak began in Mubende and spread to other areas of the country, including the capital city of Kampala. The initial opportunity to quell the spread was reportedly missed, causing a two-week delay in an outbreak declaration; Ugandan health services were able to gain control of the virus in November.[3]
    • Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng Ocero, Uganda's health minister, said Uganda quickly ended the outbreak by "ramping up key control measures such as surveillance, contact tracing and infection, prevention and control."[4]
    • The outbreak, the eighth in Uganda's history, lasted 113 days. And although it seemingly has ended, the health minister urged residents to remain vigilant and report any community members with potential Ebola symptoms.[5]


    Narrative A

    Since the severe Ebola outbreaks of 2013 and 2016, African health authorities have stressed the importance of being prepared for the next outbreak. Uganda did an excellent job coordinating its containment measures to make sure the results of this outbreak weren’t worse, and it was able to keep the virus from spreading beyond the country’s borders.

    Narrative B

    Generally, Uganda was fairly well prepared and did its best to contain this outbreak. But health authorities couldn't circulate a vaccine before transmission of the virus was stopped, opening the door for future outbreaks. A well-managed stockpile of unlicensed vaccines would make it possible to start a trial and, eventually, prevent future outbreaks.

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