Uganda confirmed a new case of Ebola in a nine-year-old girl in the west of the country, as the number of cases in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) exceeded the 3,000 mark, authorities reported on Friday. Despite efforts to stem the epidemic ravaging the DR Congo, 3,004 people have been infected with the virus and 2,006 people have died, Congolese authorities said in a report. Three people have died of the virus in Uganda with the fourth case that of the young girl, diagnosed on Thursday.
DR Congo, in central Africa, has been battling an Ebola epidemic for more than a year. The current outbreak, which started on Aug. 1 last year, is the second largest in history. After the first person to contract the disease in Goma died last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak an international health emergency. Rwanda and other neighboring countries – South Sudan, Uganda and Burundi – are now on high alert. The WHO has recommended against travel restrictions amid the outbreak but says the risk of regional spread is "very high."
The Ebola virus causes fever, vomiting and severe diarrhea, often followed by kidney and liver failure, internal and external bleeding. The disease is spread by contact with infected bodily fluids and is fought with time-honored but laborious technique of tracing contacts and quarantining them. This outbreak is the 10th since Ebola was identified in 1976.