DRC Child carries Ebola virus into Uganda

Measles is a highly contagious but preventable airborne infection

This is the first case confirmed in the country amid a deadly outbreak in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Noncontact thermometers allow health workers to check the temperature of people from Congo at the Ebola screening point in western Uganda. For the first time an experimental but effective Ebola vaccine is being widely used, and Uganda has vaccinated almost 4,700 health workers, WHO said.

Six family members then broke away while being transferred to an Ebola treatment centre in Beni and crossed into Uganda while Congolese border officials alerted their Ugandan colleagues, Congo's health ministry said. The child was later transferred to Bwera Hospital Ebola Treatment Unit.

The boy is now receiving treatment, and people he came into contact with are being monitored, the World Health Organization said.

The country's health ministry and WHO say they have dispatched a rapid response team to identify others at risk, a joint statement said. The team will also being vaccination individuals who have been in contact with the ill child, including frontline health workers.

According to the WHO, Uganda vaccinated almost 4,700 health workers in 165 facilities with an experimental drug created to protect them against the virus.

While health officials have focused on the far deadlier hemorrhagic Ebola virus concentrated in DRC's east, some 87,000 suspected cases of measles have been reported across the vast central African country in the first four and a half months of this year. Health workers have regularly come under attack.

It was observed that the treatment unit was prepared and well-maintained with proper materials and staff were well-trained in Ebola management. Although the emergency operations center had good communication with emergency sites, there were roadblocks to communication with health workers at the health centers, points of entry and, in particular, the Ebola treatment units at 2 hospitals and the global airport. This response will include administering vaccines to all contacts of infected patients to prevent new infections.

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