On October 15, Ugandan President Yoweri K Museveni imposed a three-week lockdown in the districts of Mubende and Kassanda: the aim is to contain yet another Ebola epidemic, declared last September following six “suspicious deaths. “. “If we don’t contain it, Ebola could spread beyond Uganda’s borders,” said Museveni. At the time of writing, there are 109 confirmed cases, 30 deaths (here the updated data).
Measures. In the two lockdown districts, bars, gyms, places of entertainment and worship have been closed, and the operation of public transport has been temporarily suspended. A curfew has also been imposed from 7 to 6, and it is forbidden to enter and leave the districts.
Symptoms and mortality. We know of six ebolavirus species, three of which (Bundibugyo, Sudan and Zaire) have caused major epidemics in Africa in the past. The disease, which is transmitted through contact with the body fluids of an infected person and causes blood clotting problems, initially presents with symptoms such as fever, fatigue, muscle aches, and subsequently causes vomiting, diarrhea, liver and kidney problems, and bleeding.
The death rate from Ebola is very high: in the case of the Sudanese species, which appears to be the cause of the current epidemic in Uganda, the infected die four to ten times out of ten.
And the vaccine? An Ebola vaccine exists, but unfortunately it is only effective against the Zaire species of the virus (ZEBOV): in this case, being Sudan Ebolavirus, we have no preventive weapons at our disposal.