The current Ebola outbreak in Uganda is under control, an official from the World Health Organization said on Friday.
WHO representative Joaquim Saweka told reporters in Uganda's capital, Kampala, that everyone known to have had contact with Ebola patients have been isolated for monitoring to stop the deadly disease from spreading, the Associated Press reports.
Saweka said that the country's health officials have made an "Ebola contact list" that includes the names of 176 people who have had contact with those who contracted Ebola.
"The structure put in place is more than adequate," Saweka said, according to AP. "We are isolating the suspected or confirmed cases."
The deadly disease was confirmed in Uganda on July 28, several days after people in the western part of the country started dying. Saweka said that doctors were slow to respond to the outbreak because the victims did not show the typical Ebola symptoms, like coughing blood. So far, at least 16 people have died of the disease.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said on Monday in a national address that delays in confirming the outbreak allowed the virus to spread to more villages in the western district of Kibaale.
‘‘The doctors in Kibaale say the symptoms were a bit atypical of Ebola,’’ Museveni said. ‘‘They were not clearly like Ebola symptoms. Because of that delay, the sickness spread to another village.’’
Organizations like Doctors Without Borders and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are helping Ugandan officials control the spread of the virus, said Saweka.
The East African country has seen three major outbreaks of Ebola over the past 12 years, with the deadliest being in 2000, when 224 people ofthe 425 infected died.
There is no vaccine for the highly infectious disease that kills its victims quickly. Symptoms include sudden onset of fever, weakness, headache, vomiting and kidney problems.
The CDC said that Ebola was first identified in 1976 and named after the river where it was recognized.
Doctors Without Borders said in a statement released on Wednesday that the first victim of the Ebola outbreak was a 3-month-old girl, and the 15 of the 65 people who attended her funeral later contracted the deadly disease.
Saweka said the country's health officials have now taken on the task of safety burying those who have died of Ebola.