The risk of the Ebola outbreak spreading to the countries that are neighbouring Uganda is “moderate,” Patrick Otim, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Africa’s Incident Manager for the Ebola outbreak in Uganda, has said. He was speaking during an online press conference organised by the WHO to discuss various issues including the Ebola outbreak in Uganda. Referring to a risk assessment that they carried out, Otim noted that the highest risk “remains at the national level in Uganda.” “There is a moderate risk of spread to the 6 countries that are neighbouring Uganda,” he said, adding that there have been measures instituted within Uganda to ensure that they mitigate any risk of exportation of the disease. “There is exit screening happening at the Entebbe International Airport and other major ground crossings as required under the international health regulation. There are restrictions placed on the movement of people from the epicentres (Mubende and Kassanda districts) but also on any person that has been listed as a contact so that they don’t leave the country,” he said. The Ebola outbreak in Uganda was reported on September 20 by the local health authorities, after a case was confirmed in a village in Madudu sub-county in Mubende district, central Uganda on September 19. According to Henry Kyobe Bossa, the Incident Commander, Ebola outbreak, at Uganda’s Ministry of Health, as of November 3, the total of cases of confirmed infections in the country are 131, and 48 deaths. Most of the cases have been recorded in Mubende and Kassanda districts, though there are some few that have been identified in places like Kampala, the capital city. According to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the Sudan strain of Ebola, for which there is no proven vaccine, is the one circulating in the country of 45 million people. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni imposed a 21-day travel lockdown on two Ebola-hit districts – Mubende and Kassanda – as part of efforts to stop the spread of the contagious disease. World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said last week that clinical trials of two vaccines could begin in the coming weeks pending Ugandan government approvals, without naming the vaccines. Ebola, which manifests as a viral haemorrhagic fever, is spread through contact with bodily fluids of an infected person or contaminated materials. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle pain and at times, internal and external bleeding. Ebola first appeared in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where it occurred in a village near the Ebola River after which the disease is named. Although no Ebola virus case has been confirmed in Rwanda so far, the country has stepped precautions after Uganda, its northern neighbour, confirmed an outbreak in September. For example, medics have been carrying out simulations of how to respond to any reported case, besides other measures of community awareness and sensitization. The Kigali International Airport on Tuesday, November 1 carried out Ebola simulation exercises, preparing the emergency response team in case they receive a suspected case of the highly contagious virus.