An outbreak of the lethal Ebola virus in Western Uganda was confirmed on Friday, with 16 reported dead and 51 infected , health authorities said.

On Wednesday, analysis of the victims' blood and tissue samples were sent to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control's pathogens laboratory for tests. The tests were done by the US National Reference Laboratories who confirmed the infection was indeed Ebola.

The 51 infected patients have been hospitalized in Kikyo and Bundibugyo. In the Bundibugyo district on the border with DR Congo, was where the first Ebola case was reported on November 10. No cure has yet been found for Ebola, which originated in the rainforests of the Congo basin.

The Ebola haemorrhagic fever which is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected persons or animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys and antelopes. The disease has an incubation period of two to 21 days.