New Ebola cases may indicate wider spread, health officials say: 4 updates

The eight most recent confirmed Ebola cases in Uganda's outbreak are not tied to any known infected contacts, raising concern about wider spread, global health officials said during an Oct. 19 update. 

"We remain concerned that there may be more chains of transmission and more contacts than we know about in the affected communities," said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD. 

Global health officials are also concerned about the increasing risks of transmission in Uganda's capital Kampala, as two infected individuals from a high-risk district sought care in the city. Kampala is about 25 miles from Uganda's international airport. 

Three more updates: 

1. As of Oct. 19, there have been 60 confirmed cases and 20 probable cases, including 44 deaths. Twenty-five people have recovered, according to the WHO. 

2. Experimental Ebola vaccines will be sent to Uganda in about two weeks, a WHO official told the Associated Press Oct. 19. The experimental vaccines are "ready to be shipped" but need clearance for the study before Uganda's National Drug Authority greenlights import permits, the official told AP. The strain behind the latest outbreak is named Sudan ebolavirus, and existing vaccines are not effective against it. 

3. The CDC said the risk of disease importation to the U.S. remains low and has taken a number of proactive measures, including activating its emergency response structure. Read more about the CDC's response efforts here

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