Thursday Thunder: New Ebola Outbreak in Uganda + Mumbai Measles
With borders opening, global travelers can go on trips that they have been putting off for years. And nothing beats the experience of visiting long-awaited destinations (such as India) or discovering the wonders that Africa has in store.
But with the slowing down of the (still ongoing) COVID pandemic, many diseases have begun to flourish. And when traveling, it’s critical to stay informed. Today, we’ll discuss the Ebola outbreak in Uganda, the country’s long-standing burden. In addition, we’ll analyze the measles situation in Mumbai.
Uganda Faces a New Ebola Outbreak
If you were planning a trip to the African country, you should know Uganda has extended the quarantine imposed on the main hotspots of the current Ebola outbreak by 21 days.
The Mubende and Kassanda districts in central Uganda will be closed until December 17. Originally imposed on Oct. 15 for 21 days, this restriction was extended for the same period on Nov. 5.
The Status of the Disease in the Country and the Affected Areas
Since September 20th, when the Ebola outbreak was declared, 141 infections and 55 fatal cases have been reported in the East African nation.
Travelers, take note! The seven districts affected by the Ebola outbreak are:
A 21-day blockade of Mubende and Kassanda districts was imposed on October 15, 2022, with night curfews, the closure of places of worship and entertainment, and restrictions on movement inside and outside the districts.
In October 2022, the Ministry of Health began limiting travel for close contacts of confirmed Ebola cases during the 21-day follow-up period. These measures were extended for another 21 days on November 5.
Most recently, the Ministry of Education and Sports decided to end the school year earlier this year to contain the current Ebola outbreak.
As part of the measures affecting travelers, as of November 16, 2022, all travelers departing from or arriving at Entebbe International Airport in Uganda must complete a health declaration form.
Sanitary Efforts, The Ebola Vaccine, and European Risk
In an effort to halt the Ebola outbreak, the government set up a mobile lab in Mubende to conduct community surveillance and started risk communication campaigns in all affected districts.
You may be wondering “Is there an Ebola vaccine?.” As we mentioned in a previous edition regarding the Ebola vaccine situation, currently, there are still no vaccines available for the Ebola Sudanese strain, the cause of this outbreak.
As for European neighbors, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has estimated a “very low” risk for exposure of European travelers to the virus as well as for possible Ebola transmission within the European Union.
A Look at Mumbai’s Measles Crisis
From October to date, the spread of measles in and around the western Indian city of Mumbai has been worrying.
Data on the measles outbreak in Mumbai show that the city has to this date 233 confirmed cases for the year, more than triple last year’s number.
What is Causing This Measles Outbreak in Mumbai?
In the same way as many other diseases today, Indian officials say the slow vaccination campaign amid the COVID pandemic has contributed to the increase in infections. 20,000 Indian kids didn’t get their measles vaccines during that period.
Vaccination is The Only Prevention Possible With Measles
This measles outbreak reminds us that kids under five are most at risk of measles, which causes cough, rash, and fever.
In the case of traveling to India, the best prevention method is to provide our children (and any other unvaccinated person) with the two doses of the mumps, measles, and rubella (MMR) vaccine recommended. Statistics show nine out of ten people can get sick if they don’t get vaccinated.
As countries open up, remember all the safe travel lessons the pandemic has taught. Take care of your health and the health of those around you.
If you are about to set sail for a new destination, be sure to check your target country’s entry requirements before you travel. And also, don’t forget to get tested for COVID-19.
Get tested before you leave for your dream destinations. Discover testing centers near you with our international directory.