Lifestyle & Belief

Ebola caused 14 deaths in Western Uganda this month


Uganda confirmed that the Ebola virus has killed a 12-year-old girl. Uganda has not had a confirmed case of Ebola since 2007. In this photo a team of doctors examines a man suspected to be infected with Ebola on December 20, 2007.


Claude Mahoudeau

Ebola is the culprit for 14 deaths in Uganda this month, said the World Health Organization, ending speculation about the identity of the malady, reports Al Jazeera. 

According to Al Jazeera, officials are imploring civilians to remain calm, and have set up a government task force to address the health threat. The cases are cropping in Kibaale, a district in Western Uganda. 

Al Jazeera reports that out of 20 infections, there have been 14 deaths from the notoriously deadly virus - including an entire family of 12. 

Read more from GlobalPost: Ebola cure may have been found in Canada

Ebola virus, which causes Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is considered one of the world's most terrifying viruses, and for good reason: victims tend to d die bloody and painful deaths, bleeding from every orifice. Not much is known about the virus, which was only identified in 1976, according to the Center for Disease Control.

A disease of primates, including monkeys, gorillas, chimps, and humans, the disease emerges sporadically from tropical jungles, says the CDC—and the "habitat" or reservoir of Ebola remains unknown. 

Read more from GlobalPost: Dengue fever epidemic in Cambodia may meet match with new vaccine 

Those not living in Africa can probably relax, however: Ebola has only appeared in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Sudan, the Ivory Coast, Uganda, and the Republic of the Congo, according to the CDC.

The outbreak in Reston, Virginia, as memorably described in the book "The Hot Zone," turned out to only be dangerous to monkeys. 

According to the CDC, the worst Ebola outbreak in recent Uganda history occurred in 2000, when 224 people died, with a 53 percent fatality rate. A 2001 outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo killed 187 people, with a disturbing 71 percent death rate. 

Although Ebola is incredibly deadly, the GlobalPost reported in June that a cure may have been found in Canada. 

It's been a busy summer for "hot" viruses, at least for the media: earlier in the season, the Southeast Asian nation of Cambodia made international news for an outbreak of a "mystery" virus, which turned out to be caused by EV-71, as the GlobalPost reported, a virus that can turn the common childhood malady Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease into a child killer.