Health officials in Uganda have declared an end to a recent outbreak of the Ebola virus, which killed 17 people over the summer. The most recent outbreak of the vicious and incurable disease sent panic through the central African country after a number of people contracted it in the Kibaale district back in July. Shopping, travel, drinking in bars, sleeping in hotels, and even handshakes became a frightening prospect for citizens, even though the disease is generally only spread though exchange of bodily fluids. The fear is understandable however, given that the strain behind this outbreak causes sudden and massive internal bleeding and kills more than 60 percent of those who contract it.
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The World Health Organization says it has observed no new cases in the last 42 days, which is the amount of time required to declare the epidemic over. However, a different strain of the virus continues to spread in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo. Thirty-two people have died there since May, and more than 100 others are suspected to have the disease or are "under surveillance" as possible carriers.
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Uganda's health ministry has also asked that other countries lift any bans preventing people from traveling to and from the nation because of the outbreak. Many Muslims who live Uganda have been prevented from taking their pilgrimage to Mecca after Saudi Arabia refused to issue them visas until the disease was wiped out.
- Public Health