‘Ebola is real’: Uganda to trial vaccines and shut schools early to contain outbreak – BBC News
Mukesh Singh, right, head of an Ebola treatment center in Uganda runs towards a train as health workers try to distribute protective gear to protect against the deadly disease. (CRAIG PODLAD / AFP)
Uganda will start a trial of a vaccine to combat this year’s Ebola outbreak on Saturday, even as the head of an experimental hospital preparing to treat people infected with the deadly virus warned of a second attack.
The trial will put six people in intensive care – a small number compared with other Ebola outbreaks – while the next few days represent the opening phase into the next few years of a campaign to stop people becoming trapped in the country’s dense slums.
Ugandan health workers began distributing protective gear, goggles and gowns to help screen for symptoms and get treatment to those who need it from an experimental hospital the country set up, while officials in the capital of Kampala decided who would stay and who would leave.
Ugandan officials had earlier announced the trial was on, but it was unclear if the plan was under way as an ambulance sped towards a high-rise building where the trial will be held.
Uganda’s top Ebola doctor, Kizza Besigye, said the new trial would give the vaccine a fighting chance at a time when up to 5,000 people are being treated in isolation at a hospital in the West African nation.
“The vaccine is something we have never tried before this year. At this stage, the number of people treated in isolation is less than 5,000,” Besigye said.
“There is no vaccine against Ebola to date, and I believe it will be a new vaccine,” Besigye said in an interview with the BBC.
“The trial will give us a better idea as to how much people could benefit from