Listen to this Article Now
World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday a clinical trial of vaccines to combat the Sudan strain of Ebola could start within weeks as an outbreak of the disease in Uganda reached the capital.
The East African country declared an outbreak of Ebola on Sept. 20 and said infections were being caused by the Sudan strain.
As of October 12, Uganda’s health ministry had confirmed a total of 54 Ebola cases and 19 deaths.
There have been worries the spread of infection in Uganda could be difficult to control because currently there is no vaccine for the Sudan strain.
In a virtual address to a meeting of Africa regional health officials in Kampala, Tedros said several vaccines were currently being developed that could deal with the Sudan strain.
Two of those vaccines “could be put in a clinical trial in Uganda in the coming weeks pending regulatory and other approvals from the Ugandan government,” he said.
“Our primary focus now is to rapidly control and contain this outbreak to protect neighbouring districts as well as neighbouring countries.”
Although it has no vaccine, WHO has previously said the Sudan strain is less transmissible and has shown a lower fatality rate in previous outbreaks than Ebola Zaire.