Johannesburg, South Africa — Two weeks ago, a 24-year-old man in Uganda felt ill. He went to a private clinic several times between September 11 and 13 with a high fever, convulsions, blood in his vomit, pain and swelling everywhere, and bleeding in his eyes.
He returned several times with the same symptoms, to report they were not improving. Local health officials finally referred him to the Regional Referral Hospital on September 15 and isolated him as a suspected case of viral hemorrhagic fever. Blood samples were taken that day, and eight days after he first went to the local Madudu clinic, he died. That same day, a lab confirmed he had the Sudan ebolavirus.
Health authorities sent a team to the village to investigate and found what World Health Organization officials have described as “a number” of community deaths attributed to an unknown illness.
Locals described a strange illness, with sudden deaths. According to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, officials confirmed that some of those mysterious deaths were in people who had contact with the 24-year-old man. The deaths are now also classified as probable Sudan ebolavirus cases.