Uganda mobilises health teams after man dies of Marburg virus

2014-10-06 11:21

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Kampala - Uganda is mobilising response teams and has issued a public health alert after a man died of the Ebola-like Marburg virus, a senior health official said on Monday.

The 30-year-old radiographer, who had worked at Mengo hospital in Kampala, died on 28 September.

Eighty people who had been in contact with the victim have been isolated. They comprise 38 people working at the same hospital, 22 people at a government hospital near the capital where the victim had been treated, and 20 people in western Kasese district, where the deceased was buried.

"We are telling the people to be on maximum alert," health services general director Jane Aceng told dpa.

"All health teams which were previously engaged in fighting haemorrhagic fever outbreaks are being reignited. Health workers are getting mobilised," she said.

The Health Ministry has asked health workers to "effect all infection control measures" and the public to avoid contact with the body fluids of people with Marburg symptoms.

The public should report any suspected cases, the ministry said, announcing that it was revamping an isolation unit at Mulago National Referral Hospital in Kampala.

The Marburg virus causes severe bleeding, fever, vomiting and diarrhoea. Like Ebola, it is transmitted through bodily fluids. Fatality rates in outbreaks have varied from 24% to 88%.

The virus was named after the town of Marburg, Germany where it was first discovered in 1967.

The Marburg virus already entered Uganda in 2012, affecting four south-western districts and killing nine people.

Uganda has also experienced several Ebola outbreaks, with the virus killing 224 people in the north in 2000-01, 37 people near the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2007 and 17 people in the west of the country in 2012.

Read more on:    uganda  |  health  |  east africa  |  ebola

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