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WHO director-general "concerned" over potential scope of Uganda's Ebola outbreak

World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Wednesday that he is "concerned" about the possible scope of the Ebola outbreak in Uganda, which was first reported last month. 

So far, Uganda has reported 60 confirmed cases, 20 probable cases and 44 deaths, Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during Wednesday's briefing. Twenty-five people have recovered. 

The Ministry of Health is investigating eight recently reported cases that seemed to have no link to known contacts already infected with Ebola, the director-general said. 

"We remain concerned that there may be more chains of transmission and more contacts than we know about in the affected communities," Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

This is the first time an Ebola outbreak caused by the Sudan virus has hit Uganda since 2012. The Sudan virus is a severe and frequently fatal sickness that is introduced to humans through the bodily fluids of infected animals, according to the WHO. It then spreads between humans via direct contact with bodily fluids.

Both WHO and U.S. officials have expressed support for Uganda.

"WHO and our partners are continuing to support the government of Uganda to contain the outbreak and prevent it from spreading in more regions and countries," the WHO director-general said. 

On Tuesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control released a plan in response to the outbreak. It committed to implementing health screenings at five U.S. airports, strengthening lab services in Uganda, collaborating on a more advanced contact tracing system, accelerating the availability of experimental vaccines, providing the African country with $8.9 billion in funding, and ensuring U.S. health professionals are prepared in case of an outbreak at home.

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