U.S. CDC Confirms Sudan Ebolavirus Outbreak Risks

Sudan Ebolavirus health alert issued by CDC
Uganda sudan ebolavirus outbreak
Uganda (Precision Vaccinations)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued today Health Advisory CDCHAN-00477, focused on Uganda's current Sudan Ebolavirus disease (EVD) outbreak.

This is the fifth outbreak of EVD caused by the Sudan virus in Uganda since 2000. 

As of October 6, 2022, a total of 44 confirmed cases, ten confirmed deaths, and 20 probable deaths of EVD have been identified in Uganda since the outbreak began in September 2022.

The current Ebola outbreak has a 69% case fatality rate.

However, the CDC confirmed no suspected, probable, or confirmed EVD cases related to this outbreak have yet been reported in the USA.

To notify international travelers of their potential Ebola risks, the CDC published an Alert - Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions, travel notice on October 4, 2022.

The geographic scope of this EVD outbreak is currently limited to five districts in central Uganda, but not the capital city of Kampala or the international travel hub of Entebbe.

While there are no direct flights from Uganda to the USA, travelers from or passing through affected areas in Uganda can enter the U.S. on flights connecting from other countries.

Significantly, EVD is not spread through aerosol transmission.

However, beginning today, out of an abundance of caution, all U.S.-bound passengers who have been in Uganda in the 21 days prior to their arrival will be routed to one of the following designated U.S.  airports: New York (JFK), Newark, Atlanta, Chicago, or Washington (IAD) for enhanced screening.

 As of October 6, 2022, the enhanced screening applies to U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and visa holders (including Diplomatic and Official visas). 

And as an enhanced precaution, the CDC is communicating with public health departments, laboratories, and healthcare workers to raise awareness of this EVD outbreak. 

Healthcare providers should be alert for and evaluate any patients suspected of having EVD, particularly among people who have recently traveled to affected areas in Uganda, says the CDC.

Moreover, healthcare personnel can be exposed to the Ebola virus by touching a patient's body fluids, contaminated medical supplies, or contaminated environmental surfaces. 

Sudan Ebolavirus is spread through direct contact with the body fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from EVD, infected animals, or with objects like needles that are contaminated with the virus.

While there are U.S. FDA-approved Zaire Ebolavirus vaccines, there is currently no FDA-licensed vaccine to protect against Sudan virus infection nor related treatments.

As of October 6, 2022, a few Sudan Ebolavirus vaccine candidates are preparing to conduct human clinical trials.

Previously, the ERVEBO® (rVSV-ZEBOV) vaccine indicated for the prevention of Zaire ebolavirus was approved by the U.S. FDA.

As a resource for public health departments, the CDC's Viral Special Pathogens Branch is available 24/7 for consultations regarding suspected cases by calling 770-488-7100 and requesting VSPB's on-call epidemiologist or emailing [email protected].

Other Ebola travel news is posted at Vax-Before-Travel.

PrecisionVaccinations publishes fact-checked, research-based news manually curated for mobile readership.

Note: Updated for data on October 7, 2022.

Article by
Donald Hackett