The East African Community Secretariat has urged partner states to enhance emergency preparedness and response activities following an outbreak of Ebola in Uganda. Uganda reported the first case of Ebola on September 19 in Mubende District, and since then, the government of Rwanda has reactivated the national Ebola task force to monitor cases in the region and top up on preparedness measures. So far, 24 cases have been identified in Uganda and all of them were found in the central region. On the Rwandan side, tightened measures indicate that all travellers entering Rwanda from neighbouring Uganda are now subject to screening. However, there has been no case reported in the country, according to Rwanda Biomedical Centre. “I urge partner states to enhance surveillance and laboratory testing, especially at border areas; to implement appropriate infection prevention and control measures and increase risk communication and community awareness of the disease,” said Dr Anthony Kafumbe, EAC Counsel to the Community (CTC) and Acting Deputy Secretary General for Productive and Social Sectors. He also requested member countries of the bloc to consider the deployment of the EAC mobile laboratories to the strategic outbreak hotspots and at the various border point of entry. “This shall enhance screening of the suspected cases as these mobile laboratories have the capabilities to handle such level 3 and 4 pathogens.” The Ebola wave reported in Uganda is said to have originated from South Sudan and is not linked to the one in DR Congo. Ebola is a severe, often fatal illness affecting humans and other primates. The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals. It spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission via direct contact with blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from the disease. Ebola has six different species, three of which (Bundibugyo, Sudan and Zaire) have previously caused large outbreaks. It is said that its incubation period, that is, the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms, is from 2 to 21 days. Its symptoms can be sudden and include fever, fatigue, muscle pain, headache, and sore throat followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding. So far, Rwanda has vaccinated over 200,000 people against Ebola, mainly in the Western Province.