Our inattentiveness as a nation to biodefense has resulted in this alarming truth: We are one mutation away from biological disaster. Just one genetic change and a virus like coronavirus or influenza can become far more contagious and lethal, or the antibiotics we depend on to kill bacteria can be rendered ineffective.
The World Health Organization reported Tuesday, June 11, that the case is in a 5-year-old boy from the DRC who traveled with his family into Uganda on June 9. The boy’s case was confirmed by the Uganda Virus Institute (UVRI), and he’s receiving care in the Ebola Treatment Unit in the western Ugandan town of Bwera, which sits at the border with DRC.
With the potential for the outbreak to spread, Uganda has already vaccinated 4,700 health workers in 165 health facilities and has intensified monitoring. The experimental vaccine being used in the outbreak is 97.5% effective at preventing the viral disease, preliminary data suggests. Ebola treatment centers, like the one in Bwera, are already set up. Further, the WHO has dispatched a Rapid Response team to monitor those who had contact with the boy and help with the response.