Uganda: 9-year-old girl dies from Ebola

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A 9-year-old-girl who tested positive for Ebola in Uganda has died, the country’s health officials announced on Friday.

The Congolese girl, who was in neighbouring Uganda when she was discovered to have the disease has been repatriated to her home country, as requested by her father. She was travelling with her mother when she was identified at a border screening on Wednesday as a possible Ebola sufferer and isolated by health authorities.

Cross-border risk highlighted

While cases of Ebola crossing the border into Uganda have been rare since the outbreak started more than a year ago, this latest case reminds authorities of the present danger facing them at borders joined with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

In June, a family of Congolese nationals crossed into Uganda through a bush path, some of whom were carrying the disease. Two of the family members later died from the disease and the others were transferred back to Congo.

Health authorities in Uganda are confident the 9-year-old girl who died this week had no contact with people inside the border but the case highlights the ongoing danger of the disease spreading to surrounding countries.

The World Health Organization has announced an international health crisis over the DRC Ebola outbreak, which has killed more than 2,000 people. However, the group insists that, while the risk of the disease spreading to other countries is very real, it remains low.

Featured image: “Uganda – Congo Border” flickr photo by amalthya https://flickr.com/photos/amalthya/82926777 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.