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14 dead in first major outbreak of Ebola since 2009

Nine of the fourteen deaths occurred in a single household in Uganda.

A sign warning visitors not to enter a hospital during Uganda's last Ebola outbreak
A sign warning visitors not to enter a hospital during Uganda's last Ebola outbreak
Image: AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski

FOURTEEN PEOPLE HAVE died  in the world’s first major outbreak of the Ebola virus in three years.

The president of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, today called on people to avoid physical contact after the virus was reported to have spread to the capital city Kampala for the first time. Schools have been closed and isolation wards have been set up in hospitals in a bid to contain the deadly illness.

Nine of the fourteen deaths occurred in a single household and the youngest victim was a four month old child.

A 3o-year-old woman who helped to bury one of the first victims is currently in hospital where she is being treated for fever, vomiting and abdominal pain, the World Health Organisation confirmed.

The Ministry of Health in Uganda has said it is working to control the outbreak. The WHO has been notified but has not yet recommended any travel restriction be applied to Uganda.

Patients affected by the deadly disease endure fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, and blood oozing from the mouth and nose. There is no vaccine for the virus and up to 90 per cent of people who become infected die.

The first case of the virus was found three weeks ago in a village 200 kilometres west of Kampala, according to Ugandan newspaper New Vision. Uganda has suffered a number of outbreaks of Ebola, including in 2000 when more than 100 people died.

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