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They'd Hoped to Contain Ebola in the Congo. That Plan Failed

2 have died in Uganda, and there are more suspected cases
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2019 10:43 AM CDT
Workers wearing protective clothing bury Agnes Mbambu, a 50-year-old grandmother who died of Ebola, in the village of Karambi, near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Uganda on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Ronald Kabuubi)

(Newser) – The World Health Organization has called an emergency meeting Friday over an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo that has now made its way into Uganda. Citing Ugandan Health Ministry information, the New York Times reports that two people—a 5-year-old Congolese boy and his 50-year-old grandmother—died earlier this month after they entered Uganda along the western border. Both had Ebola, as did the child's 3-year-old sibling. That sibling, along with four others who are suspected to have contracted Ebola (the dead boy's mother and father, a 6-month-old sibling, and the family's maid), have been sent back to the Congo side of the border.

"As of now, there is no confirmed case of Ebola in Uganda," the Health Ministry says. However, there are three more suspected cases of Ebola still in Uganda, at a border hospital in Bwera. Concerning officials further are the more than two dozen other people they believe may have been in contact with both the confirmed Ebola patients and the suspected ones—meaning they, too, could be harboring the disease and might spread it without realizing it. The AP notes this is the second-biggest Ebola outbreak in history, with more than 1,400 dead since the outbreak was declared last August. The WHO will announce Friday evening, after its emergency meeting, whether the outbreak will be deemed a global emergency. To meet that definition, the outbreak "must constitute a risk to other countries and require a coordinated response," per the AP. (Read more Uganda stories.)

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