The Ebola outbreak in Uganda is finally over.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Wednesday that the Government of Uganda has officially marked the end of the outbreak in the country.
It has been exactly 42 days or two incubation periods since the country reported the last case of Ebola in its territory. The outbreak is said to have ended since no new case was reported in the past six weeks.
“I commend the Government of Uganda, local health workers, and global public health partners who worked to end the country’s Ebola outbreak,” CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H. said in a media release.
“Our heartfelt sympathies are with the people who lost loved ones to this disease. CDC remains committed to partnering with the Ugandan Ministry of Health in support of survivor programs and in helping strengthen global preparedness and response capacities that can prevent or extinguish future Ebola outbreaks,” Walensky added.
Ebola causes the Ebola virus disease or EVD, a rare but severe and often fatal illness affecting humans and nonhuman primates, including monkeys, gorillas and chimpanzees.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the virus is transmitted to humans from wild animals. It then spreads via human-to-human transmission.
First discovered in 1976, the virus spreads in humans via direct contact with the blood and body fluids of an infected person, as well as objects contaminated with body fluids from a sick person.
The incubation period of EVD, or the time it takes from infection to the onset of symptoms, takes 2 to 21 days. The disease causes various symptoms, including fever, fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat in the early phase. Patients eventually develop vomiting, diarrhea, rash and other symptoms typical of impaired kidney and liver function, as per WHO.
The CDC said in its media release that it would continue to support Uganda in monitoring the virus and implementing infection prevention and response activities to help detect and respond to future cases and outbreaks.
Meanwhile, the U.S. will no longer implement entry screening and public health monitoring of travelers who have been in Uganda for the past 21 days starting this week in response to the CDC’s announcement.