A virus that killed 16 people and infected more than 50 others in western Uganda has been confirmed as Ebola, the health ministry said Thursday.
The deadly virus was confirmed in samples flown to a laboratory in Atlanta in the United States, the ministry said.
"We have been on the ground and we are deploying more people to manage the situation," said Sam Zaramba, the country's top medical official.
Zaramba said the first case was reported on November 10 in Bundibugyo district on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, where three patients were currently in an isolation ward.
"It is a dangerous disease as is any other haemorrhagic fever, but the WHO (World Health Organisation) and officials from CDC (Centre for Disease Control) are working with us to remain in control of the situation," Zaramba explained.
An outbreak of Ebola, a highly contagious disease that can have fatality rates as high as 90 percent, killed at least 170 people in northern Uganda in 2000. It spreads by direct human contact, especially through blood contact.
A similar Ebola outbreak killed at least 26 people in DR Congo's West Kasai region in recent weeks, according to the country's Health Minister Victor Makwenge Kaput.
The WHO says Ebola has killed at least 1,200 people since it was first discovered in DRC and Sudan in 1976.