Uganda's health ministry says a second person infected with the Ebola virus has died after a family exposed to the disease quietly crossed the border from Congo.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been dealing with an ongoing Ebola outbreak since August 2018; during that time, more than 2,000 cases of the disease have been confirmed, the majority of which were ultimately fatal. The health official, Emmanuel Ainebyona, told Reuters the two other people now under observation are the dead boy's three-year-old brother and a 23-year-old Ugandan man.
On Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that a 5-year-old boy had been diagnosed in Uganda, apparently after crossing over from the DRC.
Test results for the 23-year old are expected later on Thursday, he said, adding that a total of 27 contacts are now being monitored. Two family members have died and the rest have been transferred to Congo for monitoring and treatment. Three more family members - who are now healthy - could also be repatriated, the health ministry said.
The family was quarantined in a hospital in Bwera, in Kasese district.
The West Africa epidemic infected 28,000 people and killed 11,300, mostly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
The first cross-border cases in this Ebola outbreak have prompted a World Health Organization expert committee to meet on Friday to discuss whether to declare a global health emergency.
The WHO has recorded 174 attacks on Ebola health workers and clinics so far this year, causing five deaths and 51 injuries of both workers and patients, spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said on Wednesday.
The new Uganda cases have stoked fears the killer virus could now spill over into neighbouring South Sudan, which is struggling to recover from a bloody five-year civil war and whose health facilities are very basic.