Many of you have asked us about the Ebola outbreak in Uganda, and how that will impact our trip.
I think it is safe to say that some people might read a headline that says “Ebola Outbreak In Uganda” and make some assumptions that look something like the The Black Death of 1348 to 1350, which may have killed off something like a quarter or half of the worlds population. So, this is a good chance for you to use your “find out the rest of the story, challenge your assumptions, get the context, etc” skills that I’m always talking about.
Ebola is of course a serious thing…its sort of bad to get Ebola after all. So, as we plan our trip to Jinja, Uganda we will take seriously any developments that come about. It is our intention (in this case and in life in general) to live a life of wisdom, but not a life of fear.
So, at this point there are 20 confirmed cases of Ebola which are in a small geographic area, and confined to a single family. The outbreak is not in the same area of the country at Jinja. There are 6 more suspected cases which are still confined to the same geographic area. The World Health Organization, The Center for Disease Control, and the Ugandan government are all actively working to contain the outbreak, and at this point have not issued any travel warnings for Uganda. The world has a lot of motivation to contain outbreaks like this quickly, and it our expectation that this outbreak will be done by the time we are in Jinja.
We are of course in touch with Kibo staff in Uganda, and we trust them completely to give us good advice as we prepare for our trip, and we will continue to seek wise counsel and pray for wisdom.
Update (August 8, 2012):
Just a quick update to this post. As of now the Ebola outbreak is basically considered contained. An August 3rd update from the WHO puts the current numbers at 53 suspected cases, 16 deaths, and there is an extensive list of people who had contact with cases who are being monitored.
There were reports that the outbreak had skipped to a different region of Uganda, however, “So far all samples from other districts have tested negative for Ebola”, so it appears that the outbreak remains isolated to a small area of the country.