Uganda, Kampala-The Health Ministry has undertaken various measures to mitigate the Marburg threat in the country. This follows a confirmed case of Marburg in the Eastern Uganda district of Kween in Sebei Region.
A statement issued by the Health Minister, Dr. Ruth Aceng early this week shows that laboratory tests conducted by the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) show that a 50-year-old woman from Chemuron village in Moyok Parish in Moyok Sub County in Kween District died of Marburg on 17th October, 2017.
Marburg Virus Disease (MVD) is caused by the Marburg virus, a rare but severe type of Viral Hemorrhagic Fever, which affects both humans and non-human primates like monkeys and baboons. According to Dr. Aceng, to mitigate the Marburg threat, the Health Ministry has deployed a rapid response team comprising of highly experienced Epidemiologists, Risk Communication Experts, Case Management infection control and Prevention experts, Ecological environmental experts and laboratory experts to the affected areas of Kween and Kapchorwa districts.
“Isolation wards have been set up at Kapchorwa District Hospital and Kaproron Health Center IV in Kween District to handle cases. Preparations are underway by government to train all health workers, particularly at Kapchorwa District Hospital and Kaproron Health Center IV on Viral Hemorrhagic Fever infection prevention and control,” she said.
She warned members of the public to avoid contact with persons who have died from the disease and allow health workers to bury the remains to as to avoid new infections. Dr. Miriam Nanyunja, the Disease Prevention and Control officer at World Health Organization, says the reservoir host of the Marburg virus is the African fruit bat.
Fruit bats infected with Marburg virus do not show obvious signs of illness in Primates including humans who are vulnerable to contracting the virus. Uganda registered a single case of Marburg in September 2014 involving a healthcare worker although source of infection was not identified nor was there any secondary cases identified.